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I am interested in analysing patterns in transfers between bitcoin users. Is it possible to extract the following data from the bitcoin ledger:

  • time
  • sender
  • amount
  • receiver

I don't need the real identity of sender/receiver. I understand that the address can be used to approximate unique users? Is this correct?

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    Welcome to Bitcoin SE! Is your question about how to get the blockchain? How to read it? How to understand transactions? It's unclear, which makes this question grounds for closing. Please revise to ask a specific question. Also feel free to ask multiple questions, since that makes the site better for everyone. – Jestin Oct 27 '17 at 19:37
  • Jestin- hope my q is more specific now – user62912 Oct 28 '17 at 3:56
  • Thanks. Ultimately, it's up to the community to decide if it's specific enough. Otherwise, it will be closed. – Jestin Oct 29 '17 at 15:38
  • You may read the following article on visualizing bitcoin transactions as well as blocks. There are few very good websites enlisted which have helped me to learn a lot as well. datalion.com/… – siddharth Oct 30 '17 at 13:16
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Is it possible to extract the following data from the bitcoin ledger: (time, sender, amount, receiver)?

Something like that would be possible, you could run your own bitcoin node and query the data from that, or use an API from a site like blockchain.info, which provides transaction data. Here's an example of a transaction from blockchain.info: https://blockchain.info/rawtx/a196032e52c0a9d7a9737ffa212f029bceb9618d0bff5c6dde99ecac4e28bf06

Note that transactions do not have times encoded into them, the time such a site gives would just be the time that site received the transaction first.

the address can be used to approximate unique users? Is this correct?

This is not correct in general, while some users may reuse the same address for every transaction (one-to-one), other users generate new addresses for every transaction they receive, so there is a many-to-one relationship between addresses and users. In the more uncommon case, there are also multisignature addresses, which often involve more than one person approving any spends from that address, so that you sometimes have a one-to-many relationship between the address and the users. All addresses of that type start with a '3' or 'bc1' though. So its a lot more complicated to make assumptions about users than it is to just look at addresses.

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