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I want to get information about the creator of a given transaction through Bitcoin API. More specifically, any or all addresses they sent their Bitcoins from, so I can return some of the money back. Is it possible to do using just the JSON RPC, or do I have to rely on external sources (such as the Block Explorer)?

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    I would strongly urge you not to do this. For one thing, if the money was sent to you from a typical web-based wallet or exchange, the money will not go back to the sender. – David Schwartz Sep 1 '12 at 8:47
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    The only correct way to do a refund, is to ask the sender to provide a refund address. You may be able to observe some of the addresses some of the input coins were previously sent to, but there is no guarantee that the sender expects/accepts refunds to those. Typical standalone Bitcoin clients do, but there are far from the only players on the network. – Pieter Wuille Sep 1 '12 at 11:30
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If the address is in your wallet, gettransaction includes the input addresses:

If this is done by an agent where the addresses might not be in the wallet, v0.7 getrawtransaction gives you access to those transactions.

There are other tools that you can use to build this capability as well.

  • libBitcoin
  • Armory (see Extras)
  • Bitcoin ABE

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