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Per my understanding, in a blockchain system, all transactions are recorded on an immutable ledger.

Given this, if you know your friend's public address, wouldn't it be possible to figure out the collective total of their holdings? Isn't that a violation of privacy?

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  • Monero as well uses a blockchain, but you can't see transacted amounts that aren't relevant to you
    – MCCCS
    Mar 7 at 19:13
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Given this, if you know your friend's public address, wouldn't it be possible to figure out the collective total of their holdings?

I can look at the transactions associated with the address if I know the address which I assume my friend told me.

Isn't that a violation of privacy?

No if my friend told me the address it's not violation of privacy

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  • Well how else is a p2p blockchain system meant to work if you don't know their address? :) If you tell someone your bank details in order to receive fiat, they most certainly will not be privy to every single transaction detail you've ever carried out.
    – nz_21
    Mar 7 at 19:00
  • Peer to Peer network for Bitcoin has nothing where addresses are shared with friends. I don't know what are the addresses used by my friends or if they use bitcoin or not. Sharing a bitcoin address is completely different from sharing bank account details. For example: I can use bitcoin to pay a sex worker and ensure its never associated with my real identity or used to track my holdings. I am not comfortable using bank account to pay her and get this transaction on my bank statement.
    – Prayank
    Mar 7 at 19:12
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I think the confusion here lies in the (unfortunate) naming of the word "address", which implies that it is somehow a fixed, permanent identity.

Bitcoin addresses are nothing like that. Typically a new address is constructed for every separate incoming payment, and then used exactly once (when the funds are spent). A wallet is a continuously-growing collection of addresses, and while the amounts sent to every address individually are public, it is not public which addresses belong to whom, or even which addresses belong together.

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