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Issue #843: Output Descriptors will make life easier

Issue #843: Output Descriptors will make life easier

Oct 12, 2020
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #843: Output Descriptors will make life easier

Here's a topic for you freaks that has (embarrassingly) received no coverage in this rag; output descriptors. Output descriptors aim to make the way addresses are generated within Bitcoin wallets more straightforward for users. They do this by specifying what scripts or addresses are needed when interacting with particular public keys.

"What the hell does this mean, Uncle Marty?"

In simple terms, if I understand correctly, output descriptors are beneficial because they let engineers know in plain English what they should be deriving from certain address types. Essentially attaching descriptions that let a user/engineer know exactly what data they need to include when spending from a particular address. This will be a massive UX improvement for individuals building wallet software and users of that software because it will eliminate ambiguity when going to spend, derive a new address, or execute a particular script. When combined with something like miniscript, the ability to track and sign a wide variety of transaction scripts from one wallet will be made significantly easier.

I highly recommend you freaks check out the above presentation from Bitcoin Core contributor Andrew Chow from the Advancing Bitcoin conference earlier this year. In it, Andrew explains what output descriptors are and how they are being implemented within the Bitcoin Core wallet. This is another one of those boring-under-the-radar-grunt-work-hard-hat-under-appreciated improvements that gets your Uncle Marty excited.

I fell down the output descriptor rabbit hole this weekend after seeing a teaser tweet for Bitcoin Core v0.21.0 from instagibbs.

For those wondering, Bitcoin Core v0.21.0 is estimated to be released in early December of this year. If you're able to help out with code review, get on it!

Final thought...

An hour of uninterrupted reading in the morning is pretty serine.


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