When you send money, does Bitcoin-Qt automatically sign the transaction?

On the Receive Coins tab, why is there a Sign Message button? Which message am I signing? There is no Send Message button, either. When you click on Sign Message, there is also a Verify Message tab. What am I verifying? Shouldn't the system ensure that I'm receiving a properly signed coins bundle?

1 Answer 1


The sign/verify message feature has nothing to do with the regular wallet functionality. Sending and receiving coins has nothing to with it.

It provides the ability to sign a message... anything you like, using one of your addresses, proving that you are the owner of the address. It can be used to prove you own some amount of bitcoins, without actually sending them for example.

It's not a feature regular users will frequently need.

  • Then I might create a message in Bitcoin-Qt, sign it, and email it, say, to another person?
    – Strychnine
    Apr 22, 2013 at 0:38
  • Indeed, it just shows you the signature, which can send along with the message to someone. If they paste both the message and the signature into the Verify Signature form, it will tell them whether it's valid or not. Apr 22, 2013 at 9:33
  • I'd like a feature request (where do I do this Pieter), I'd like a user to click on a URL and bring up the QT client similar to mailto://[email protected], but signqt://[email protected]?key=ALL|1addressHere and sign a message for one or all of their keys Dec 12, 2013 at 19:51
  • See github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues Dec 13, 2013 at 8:52
  • actually, it has a bit to do with it... the same public-key algorithm is used to sign transactions.... Jan 28, 2014 at 17:14

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