class Base58

Base58 is a way to encode Bitcoin addresses (or arbitrary data) as alphanumeric strings. <p> Note that this is not the same base58 as used by Flickr, which you may find referenced around the Internet. <p> You may want to consider working with {@link VersionedChecksummedBytes} instead, which adds support for testing the prefix and suffix bytes commonly found in addresses. <p> Satoshi explains: why base-58 instead of standard base-64 encoding? <ul> <li>Don't want 0OIl characters that look the same in some fonts and could be used to create visually identical looking account numbers.</li> <li>A string with non-alphanumeric characters is not as easily accepted as an account number.</li> <li>E-mail usually won't line-break if there's no punctuation to break at.</li> <li>Doubleclicking selects the whole number as one word if it's all alphanumeric.</li> </ul> <p> However, note that the encoding/decoding runs in O(n&sup2;) time, so it is not useful for large data. <p> The basic idea of the encoding is to treat the data bytes as a large number represented using base-256 digits, convert the number to be represented using base-58 digits, preserve the exact number of leading zeros (which are otherwise lost during the mathematical operations on the numbers), and finally represent the resulting base-58 digits as alphanumeric ASCII characters.