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BitCoin Wiki states:

Different bitcoin clients and different versions have different rules for determining which transactions to accept and how large a fee to send..

Is it true that different clients can attach different transaction fees which differ from the other clients?

For example, is there anyway to send 1 mBTC without having to pay the fee of 0.5 mBTC?

Are the rules of the transaction fees enforced by the protocol?

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The Bitcoin protocol does not require any fee to be paid.

However, the standard client will require varying fees to be paid before the transaction is included in a block or relayed, all depending on the current load (up to 27kB transactions are free unless they are considered spammy, then fees get higher and higher).

Some pools (like Eligius) don't include transactions without fees into their blocks, so that's another incentive to pay something.

  • Are you aware of a client that doesn't require a transaction fee? – Pacerier Jun 25 '12 at 19:20
  • @Pacerier I know there are some branches of the standard client that don't require fees, but consider this - Bitcoin fees are something like 1 cent per transaction. This fee goes to support the network growth. You should consider whether you REALLY can't spend a cent in order to send money... – ThePiachu Jun 25 '12 at 19:44
  • I know, but it's not nice to be "forced" to do so by a client, while knowing that other clients do not have the same restriction. There should be a choice. – Pacerier Jun 25 '12 at 20:15
  • @Pacerier Think of it as going to a museum with a suggested donations. Sure, you can go in and not pay, but if everyone would be doing that, one day you might find the museum closed and nobody will be able to get in. In a couple years a majority of Bitcoin earnings should be coming from fees. If nobody will pay the fees, the project could not get off the ground properly. – ThePiachu Jun 25 '12 at 20:46
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AFAIK there are currently no protocol-enforced rules on transaction fees. There are alternative clients as well as forks of the standard client that allow sending without a fee.

But there is no guarantee that your transaction will be propagated and included in a block. Most of the nodes use the standard bitcoind, so sending a transaction without the fees expected by bitcoind will likely mean your transaction will not be confirmed for some time.

  • But it doesn't matter if we do not need the coins straightaway as eventually we'd get the coins. – Pacerier Jun 25 '12 at 19:19
  • @Pacerier: That's not guaranteed, and it will become increasingly less true going forward. – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 6:56

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