I have noticed that some people speak of "coins". As far as I can tell, by "coin" they mean a transaction output. Is this a correct understanding? Is it helpful to use the word "coin"?

1 Answer 1


Right. The statement "Alice has 5 coins" could be more precisely phrased "Alice controls the private keys for some set of addresses, to which are directed some set of transaction outputs with a total value of 5". But that's a lot more cumbersome.

  • Actually that's not how I understand it. To me, "Alice has 5 coins" would not convey any information about total value... it would mean: "There are 5 unspent outputs in the blockchain payable to private keys held by Alice". Only if you would add up all the values of those 5 outputs would you know Alice's wealth. You could say "Alice has 3 coins, totalling 10 BTC, consisting of a 3.5 BTC coin, a 5 BTC coin and a 1.5 BTC coin"
    – RentFree
    Nov 15, 2013 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.