1

The context is on this section: “What if the input and output amounts don’t match?” of this page: http://www.coindesk.com/information/how-do-bitcoin-transactions-work/

I find it strange as it seems that reusing address is a bad practice (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Address_reuse). (i.e. When Person A makes a transaction with Person B, then Person A makes a transaction with Person C, there should be two different addresses (instead of one) from Person A involved.) Or does the “address” here actually mean bitcoin wallet?

1

many different transactions tied to a particular bitcoin address

The sentence refers to the fact that the address can be involved in many different transactions. This is most likely seen with the address working as a receiving address, or destination address. For instance, imagine that you want to have an address posted in your personal website where you receive donations from people. It would be tedious to change it every time you receive a transaction.

As you already mentioned, reusing an address is not usually a good practice, since it could involve some privacy issues. By using a different address each time you perform a payment, you make it harder to link different bitcoin addresses owned by you (however, not impossible). By using always the same address when paying you make way easier for a third party to analyse your behaviour, based on where you are sending bitcoins.

Finally you should not mix up Bitcoin address with wallet. Think in a wallet as a collection of tools that let you manage your Bitcoin address (or addresses), such managing public/private keys to create transactions. What is said to be a bad practice in the Bitcoin wiki is referring to use the same Bitcoin address multiple times. The wallet is a collection of tools, the Bitcoin address will be more like an endpoint.

  • So the "address" in "many different transactions tied to a particular bitcoin address" really mean bitcoin address, but in the context of bad practice? – Aqqqq Feb 18 '17 at 19:20
  • You should not mix up wallet with address. A bitcoin wallet can hold multiple addresses, actually it usualy does. Bitcoin Core wallet for example creates a new address every time a transaction is performed to get the change returned, if there is change. That is: imagine that you have 2 BTC in address A1 form a single previous transmission, and you want to transfer 1 BTC to address B1. You should send 1 BTC back to yourself, otherwise it will be treated as fees (that is normally done to a new generated address, for example A2). – sr-gi Feb 18 '17 at 21:09
  • So the "address" in this context should be "wallet" instead, am I correct? – Aqqqq Feb 19 '17 at 14:48
  • No, unfortunately you are not, it means Bitcoin address. Think in a wallet as a collection of tools that let you manage your Bitcoin address (or addresses). What is said to be a bad practice in the Bitcoin wiki page you provided is referring to use the same Bitcoin address multiple times. The wallet is a tool, the Bitcoin address will be more like an endpoint. – sr-gi Feb 19 '17 at 18:17
  • Sorry I am confused. What does "many different transactions tied to a particular bitcoin address" really mean if it is not referring to the bad practice involving using the same bitcoin address multiple times? – Aqqqq Feb 19 '17 at 20:37
1

The section is simplifying to make the topic easier to access. Unfortunately, it is not being consistent with its simplification. This results in conflating wallets, users, and addresses as well as transaction records, transactions, and transaction outputs making the section confusing and borderline wrong. Also, "Jane" is a user or address first, then a transaction input. First transactions are being spent, then there is talk about inputs and outputs out of nowhere. It seems to me that the section should be rewritten.

  • Of course Alice could actually be only using a single address, but as you've noted this is not recommended.
  • People are however not spending transactions, they are spending transaction outputs (also see What is an “unspent output”?)
  • So I should assume that my understanding is correct? – Aqqqq Feb 18 '17 at 19:20
  • @Aqqqq: Could you please clarify what you remain unsure about? – Murch May 20 '17 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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