What is Bitcoin's locktime feature and what are some example use cases?

And how can a user make use of this new feature? Is it in any gui wallet? And how would one use it in the command line if its the only option?


1 Answer 1


Like a cheque with a date in future, a Bitcoin transaction with locktime cannot be unlocked (read cashed) before that date. The definition in bitcoin.org is pretty clear

Part of a transaction which indicates the earliest time or earliest block when that transaction may be added to the block chain.

Sample use case is a cautionary deposit. For a great example see micropayment channel protocol implemented by bitcoinj and described here:


  • You lost me there with all the A B Q Tx Tx2 variables. Feb 25, 2016 at 22:50
  • 1
    well, reedited with Alice and Bob. Not easy to explain without the proper actors
    – Davide C
    Feb 25, 2016 at 22:56
  • what is coin Q? Feb 25, 2016 at 23:16
  • a coin is a sum linked to the output of a past transaction and that can be spent becoming the input of another.
    – Davide C
    Feb 25, 2016 at 23:25

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