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Let's say I'm paying my monthly rent using bitcoin. I'm going to set up a script to send 5 bitcoin from my wallet to my landlord's address every month. I will not be able to tell beforehand which addresses the bitcoins will come from, nor does my landlord want to verify signatures on many addresses.

How can I prove that 5 bitcoin is leaving my wallet every month and going into my landlord's account?

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5 bitcoin... nice rent! – CodeAngry Mar 6 '14 at 9:09
@Mark, so what happens if Bitcoin suddenly jumps to 3k each? Do you still pay 5 bitcoins? – Pacerier Mar 7 '14 at 5:16
Hope you're getting a very nice flat right in the middle of NYC or London for all that money :) – Joe Pineda Mar 7 '14 at 12:23
up vote 34 down vote accepted

One way might be to have the landlord generate a different address for each tenant. So you pay your landlord using address A, and your neighbour pays using address B, and the landlord can tell who the payment came from by the destination address.

That doesn't prove that the payment came from your wallet of course, but this allows somebody else to make the rent payment on your behalf (and the landlord wouldn't know the difference).

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In general, I doubt your landlord cares who pays it. He cares about which bill / whose rent is being paid, and the above is the perfect and advised way of distinguishing that. – Pieter Wuille Mar 6 '14 at 9:17

If he just wants to receive money to cover your rent, suggest him a different address per tenant as in Greg's answer, it's simplest and cleanest (and you could even have a benefactor paying for you).

Should he want money from you specifically... If I recall it, you can add small texts in your transactions - but that's an advanced feature that requires, as far as I know, manual steps. You could try sending a small text with your payment with just your last name, or a more thorough message encrypted with your landlord's public key.

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None of that proves that you sent it? It's a very strange and untenable thing to care who pays an account. – WiseOldDuck Mar 11 '14 at 22:19
@WiseOldDuck Yeah, it's really a very theoretical concern. It'd be better if a small text were included in the transaction albeit encrypted with your private key - only someone with access to your wallet and knowledge of your private key could've sent such coins. – Joe Pineda Mar 12 '14 at 3:45
You could sign the message and give that signed message to anyone without revealing your private key. I don't think this is possible, and who would ever care. In the "extreme" someone who was willing to pay for you would just have to pay you first. – WiseOldDuck Mar 12 '14 at 23:32

Simplest solution is to use a 3rd party payment processor, e.g. Coinbase will permit recurring payments for bills or rent.

Snippet from Coinbase's interface

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Elaborate, 3rd party payment processor such as? – chamini2 Mar 7 '14 at 5:25
@chamini2 I have edited my answer – Brad Thomas Mar 7 '14 at 5:34

I just thought of this method the other day.

The landlord gives me a unique numeric ID, say 12345, because my apartment number is 12345.

At the end of each month, I would only need to deposit 5 bitcoins +12345 Satoshi in his wallet. The benefit of this scheme is that he needs not generate a new address for every tenant. This is good for him because he can just publish his rent-accepting address statically.

Unfortunately my rent is slightly higher in this scheme.

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You could solve this by splitting the payment in two separate transactions, e.g. one of 3.99987655 and one of 1.00012345. The only thing then is that you'd have to pay the miner's fee twice. – jorijnsmit Jul 26 '14 at 14:41

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