Bech32 and WIF payload format are mostly orthogonal issues. You can design a 
new wallet import format now and later switch it to Bech32.

> On Sep 17, 2017, at 7:42 AM, AJ West via bitcoin-dev 
> <> wrote:
> Hi I have a small interjection about the point on error correction (excuse me 
> if it seems elementary). Isn't there an argument to be made where a wallet 
> software should never attempt to figure out the 'correct' address, or in this 
> case private key? I don't think it's crazy to suggest somebody could import a 
> slightly erroneous WIF, the software gracefully error-corrects any problem, 
> but then the user copies that error onward such as in their backup processes 
> like a paper wallet. I always hate to advocate against a feature, I'm just 
> worried too much error correcting removes the burden of exactitude and 
> attention of the user (eg. "I know I can have up to 4 errors").
> I'm pretty sure I read those arguments somewhere in a documentation or issue 
> tracker/forum post. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the bigger picture in this 
> particular case, but I was just reminded of that concept (even if it only 
> applies generally).
> Thanks,
> AJ West
>> On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 4:10 AM, Thomas Voegtlin via bitcoin-dev 
>> <> wrote:
>> On 17.09.2017 04:29, Pieter Wuille wrote:
>> >
>> > This has been a low-priority thing for me, though, and the computation work
>> > to find a good checksum is significant.
>> >
>> Thanks for the info. I guess this means that a bech32 format for private
>> keys is not going to happen soon. Even if such a format was available,
>> the issue would remain for segwit-in-p2sh addresses, which use base58.
>> The ambiguity of the WIF format is currently holding me from releasing a
>> segwit-capable version of Electrum. I believe it is not acceptable to
>> use the current WIF format with segwit scripts; that would just create
>> technological debt, forcing wallets to try all possible scripts. There
>> is a good reason why WIF adds a 0x01 byte for compressed pubkeys; it
>> makes it unambiguous.
>> I see only two options:
>>  1. Disable private keys export in Electrum Segwit wallets, until a
>> common WIF extension has been agreed on.
>>  2. Define my own WIF extension for Electrum, and go ahead with it.
>> Defining my own format does make sense for the xpub/xprv format, because
>> Electrum users need to share master public keys across Electrum wallets.
>> It makes much less sense for WIF, though, because WIF is mostly used to
>> import/sweep keys from other wallets.
>> I would love to know what other wallet developers are going to do,
>> especially Core. Are you going to export private keys used in segwit
>> scripts in the current WIF format?
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