I recently looked at this bitcoin transaction:

transaction: 3b0e8fae9640e1d043cfef14815c6885e58d71e7ee31cfa53f9c9d5acb138a4d

For those who do not want to look at the transaction, I will give a simplified example of it:

There are 3 inputs:

X pays 0.5BTC Y pays 2BTC Z pays 3 BTC

There are 2 outputs:

A which gets 2.5BTC X which gets 3 BTC

As you can see, the "balance" from Y and Z went to X, but X also paid out.

Would this be classed as a incoming or outgoing transaction?

The wallet balance would probably not change as they "may" own all of the addresses.

I would like to assume that they do not.

Should I class them as separate transactions?

  • I'm not sure what you mean by 'incoming or outgoing transaction'. As far as the blockchain is concerned, there are just transactions. In any transaction, you can usually assume one entity owns all of the inputs, but it is impossible to determine who owns the outputs, unless one of them is the same address as one of the inputs (but this is against best practices, due to privacy concerns surrounding address reuse).
    – chytrik
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 21:20
  • @chytrik If I had a wallet with just the address X. Do you know what the transaction history would look like? In the format that wallets display transactions, which is in terms of outgoing and incoming Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 21:26
  • Generally, addresses should be used just once, with a wallet generating a new address for every transaction /change output. If you had a wallet with only one address, then anyone you transact with would be able to view your entire transactional history for that address, as the blockchain is a public record. So in terms in incoming/outgoing, it is more useful to consider the wallet as a whole, not individual addresses. If you own a wallet, any time you are sending money out of your wallet you could call that outgoing. Any time you receive money into your wallet you could call that incoming.
    – chytrik
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


It depends on your perspective and which addresses you control.

If you are Y or Z, it's an outgoing transaction.

If you are A, then it's incoming,

If you are X, it could be both. If X also controls Y or Z, then it's outgoing as he is sending money to A and the output that sends to X is just a change output. If X does not also control Y or Z, it would be both as Y and Z are simultaneously paying him and A while X is simultaneously paying A and receiving money from Y and Z.

  • Ahh, I see, it is dependent upon the circumstances. Thanks again Andrew! Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 21:46

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