I am using the 0.4.0 release. Is it possible to send bitcoins without paying a fee? Who gets the fee ? Is it only miners discovering new blocks?
It is possible to send Bitcoins without paying any fee. The easiest way is if your transaction meets the following requirements:
The transaction only sends coins to one address, plus the return of change. (No more than two 'out' scripts.)
The transaction doesn't need to gather a large number of small transaction outputs. (You are spending funds you received in a sensible way, not as a large number of micro-transactions.)
The funds are stable. That is, you aren't spending funds you recently received.
Otherwise, the transaction fee goes to the miner who includes your transaction in a block.
Currently, it is possible to get any valid, standard transaction into a block without paying a fee if you are willing to be sufficiently patient. You may need to specifically configure your client to connect to a client known to accept such transactions and known to relay them to miners. (Luke Dash Jr. runs one such node, with IP address
Sometimes Services provides Something that just work…
https://pro.coinbase.com/ pays miners fees for you.