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I have recently installed Bitcoin Core on my PC and downloaded the blockchain in prune mode. I want to find out if there is a way to find transactions original author, the node which broadcasted a transaction first.

I have enabled debug=net in bitcoin.conf file and I can see the list of messages sent between my peers, but I can't figure out how to tell if a transaction is broadcasted for the first time or is it just being relayed?

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There is no way to gain this information with certainty.

Information about whom crafted a transaction is not included when a transaction is broadcast; that would be very obviously bad for privacy.

There is also no saying that the node which broadcasts a transaction had anything to do with authoring said transaction. In fact there exist many services that allow users to publish their transactions to the bitcoin network with varying degrees of privacy/anonymity.

You could perhaps run a great number of bitcoin nodes, strategically positioned around the world in a way that would allow you to perform a timing analysis for new transactions seen by each node. If you were able to cover enough of the network graph, you could start to make guesses about which other node first published said transaction-- but it would be a guess at best. There is no way to know for certain, by design.

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  • Thank you for you answer! I have seen similar information but could not see why and you gave a great explanation. Commented May 25, 2023 at 8:45

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