My understanding is that it's possible for extra bitcoins to be left in several accounts within my wallet. The scattering of these coins into different accounts may cause future transactions to become larger in size (Kb), and therefore more costly in fees.

Does it make sense to prematurely consolidate these small accounts into a single "spend account" at some point? (perhaps while I sleep?)

  • The fact that they're in different accounts doesn't matter. What matters is that they are distinct transaction outputs. What you would do is consolidate these small outputs into a single larger output. Dec 3, 2012 at 3:13
  • @DavidSchwartz What I'm getting at is what if I have 1000 customers who paid me to 1000 addresses. I have 0.002 BTC in each account. If I spend 2.0 BTC on something won't my transaction be huge? .. and I'll have to pay a large fee? Dec 3, 2012 at 18:20
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    You'd have the same problem if they all paid you to the same address. You'd still have 1,000 transaction outputs to "gather" if you tried to spend 2 BTC, so your transaction would still be huge. Dec 3, 2012 at 19:59
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    @DavidSchwartz You hit the nail on the head (of my recent questions). If these small transactions were collected, during low expected utilization (low spend hours), then I avoid the fee after I wait N hours. It's like a logical defragmentation of my wallet balance. no? Dec 3, 2012 at 22:02
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    This question doesn't ask how, so I've asked that question here: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/5583/… Dec 4, 2012 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


In satoshi client, the "accounts" therein are only a convenience for labeling of receiving addresses. They don't matter for sending at all.

If you receive bitcoins, the balance is not added as in bank, but the amount is saved as "unspent output". Client only shows all these outputs together as one available balance. It doesn't matter whether one address has n unspent outputs, or these are on more addresses. When you send bitcoin, the fee is based on number of these outputs used and it is higher if they are very recent. So trying to consolidate them won't help much, only that you pay the fee sooner. And it isn't done "while you sleep", it's done by simply sending your whole balance minus fees to yourself.

In other clients, the fee algorithm can be completely different.

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