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I recently noticed an old address of mine had 1 satoshi sent to it in some dust spam transaction. The thought of this satoshi bloating the UTXO set for everyone bothers me. I'd like to "destroy" it, but I don't want to combine it with other inputs in a separate transaction for privacy reasons. Ideally I can "spend" it in a transaction with no outputs so it just goes to the miners, but I've tried doing this on Electrum and it won't allow transactions without any outputs. I haven't tried it with bitcoind yet, but my node is pruned so I'm not sure importing the private key would work since I can't rescan far back enough.

Another good option would be to somehow sign this input and allow someone else to aggregate it with a bunch of other dust outputs and "donate" them all to the miners, but I figure this is not currently possible.

Any recommendations on a clean, simple way I can destroy this satoshi without compromising privacy?

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In the current environment, I doubt that you can. Blocks are full these days, and the block space needed to spend your UTXO, whether as its own transaction or as one input of many similar transactions, could be used instead for a transaction with a much more lucrative fee than 1 satoshi.

I think your "aggregated" strategy would only work if one of the other participants was very generous and donated a sufficiently large fee to raise the average for the whole transaction to a competitive level. You'd be getting a free ride in that case.

In theory, one could spend the dust in a transaction having only an OP_RETURN output, either of value 0 (thus leaving the 1 satoshi as a fee) or of value 1 satoshi (thus destroying the satoshi). However, nobody is going to mine it on the BTC mainnet, as mentioned above, and for that matter nobody is going to relay it either, since it's dust.

(Incidentally, it appears that spending the UTXO in a transaction with a single P2PKH output of value 0 does not accomplish this; such an output remains spendable (!) so it doesn't reduce the number of UTXOs. Example on the BCC testnet. I wasn't expecting that.)

  • 1) some nodes relay transactions with dust outputs. some nodes even confirm them nowadays (but due to error configurations or tests) – amaclin Oct 12 '17 at 16:35
  • 2) testnets do not have "dust" restrictions – amaclin Oct 12 '17 at 16:36
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You also can move your "non-dust" funds to another address and publish the private keys. Sometime someone will destroy these UTXOs :)

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If you're worried about "bloating", any attempt to use the 1 satoshi necessarily takes information that must be included in the blockchain. Thus, the best way to "get rid of" this one satoshi and not "bloat" the blockchain is to simply delete the private key.

Then it will bother you no less than all the dust in all the addresses on the blockchain.

If you are concerned about wasting this amount of money, simply turn your monitor off for about 5 seconds. The power savings will make you richer than worrying about this.

  • the problem is not bloating the blockchain but bloating the number of utxo – amaclin Oct 12 '17 at 15:16
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    the number of utxo is little more than a statistic on the blockchain... not understanding the motivation here – hedgedandlevered Oct 12 '17 at 15:56
  • I'm definitely not concerned about wasting the money (in fact, I want to waste the money), just the utxo. Yes this satoshi is a drop in the bucket, but in aggregate it's not just a statistic. The utxo set has to be stored in ram by all nodes (even pruning ones) and therefore makes a real impact on hardware requirements. – Daniel McNally Oct 13 '17 at 12:12

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