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135
votes
10answers
305k views

Why is my transaction not getting confirmed and what can I do about it?

I sent a transaction without (or with an exceptionally small) transaction fee using extremely small or unconfirmed inputs while the stars were not standing right. For whatever reason, I have been ...
177
votes
8answers
107k views

What exactly is Mining?

I have heard that mining is for people with ready hardware and blah blah blah... But what exactly is it? Does it operate like real mining? I mean, people talk about it like you are physically mining.
120
votes
8answers
49k views

How do you obtain bitcoins?

This is a question many people ask when they're introduced to Bitcoin. Bitcoin sounds interesting, but if I want to use this system I will need to get some coins, otherwise, there's no way I can ...
110
votes
9answers
321k views

How much Bitcoin will I mine right now with hardware X?

Say I have a given piece of hardware (CPU/GPU). Where can I find out how much Bitcoin will I mine per day?
48
votes
3answers
9k views

How does change work in a bitcoin transaction?

It seems that when you send a bitcoin transaction, all the coins in the sending address are spent in that transaction, divided into the amount that you intended to send, and "change", which goes back ...
55
votes
2answers
68k views

In the ASIC-age, is it worth starting mining Bitcoin at home?

I have recently learned about Bitcoin and would like to get rich quickly into mining. I have control of a laptop library full of ancient computers powerful gaming PC cluster of GPUs an old ASIC, I ...
33
votes
9answers
7k views

I am new to Bitcoin, how can I get started?

I am new to both StackExchange and to the new online currency called Bitcoin. I understand what Bitcoin is and how it works, but I was wondering: how do you actually get started with Bitcoin? I have ...
14
votes
6answers
30k views

What would happen if you send Bitcoin (BTC) to a Bitcoin Cash (BCH, aka BCC) address?

Could someone please explain what happens if someone sends bitcoin to a Bitcoin Cash address after the August 1st fork? Would there be a way to recover them?
132
votes
8answers
48k views

What can an attacker with 51% of hash power do?

Suppose organization X has 51% of the hash power for a period of 1 week. In this week, what exactly can and can't X do?
71
votes
3answers
26k views

How to redeem a basic Tx?

Given a raw, standard Tx (wiki): 01000000 01 26c07ece0bce7cda0ccd14d99e205f118cde27e83dd75da7b141fe487b5528fb 00000000 8b ...
64
votes
9answers
82k views

Where do bitcoins come from and what gives them their value?

Where do bitcoins come from? From the WeUseCoins.com video it appears they are just being produced by "miners" and sold to people. So who backs Bitcoin or gives it its value?
9
votes
2answers
20k views

Bitcoin Cash accidentally sent to Bitcoin address. Can I get them back? [duplicate]

I managed my Bitcoins Cash in a Electrum Cash wallet on my PC. From there, I accidentally sent them to another internet based wallet, but didn't notice that this wallet is for Bitcoin and not Bitcoin ...
119
votes
11answers
59k views

Is it possible to brute force bitcoin address creation in order to steal money?

Bitcoin users frequently generate new addresses for each transaction they make, which greatly increases the number of bitcoin addresses being used to receive money. Would it be possible (and ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Cannot access my bitcoins because my wallet is still synchronising. What can I do to spend them immediately?

I have purchased bitcoins and have downloaded Bitcoin-QT, but my wallet is taking forever to synchronize to the network. I can't access my wallet because it is still in the sync process. I have the ...
59
votes
3answers
32k views

How is difficulty calculated?

Can anyone explain me in the plain English how difficulty is calculated. I have a very approximate understanding that it is calculated based on the amount of hash power in all the bitcoin community ...
21
votes
3answers
10k views

Is Each Bitcoin Address Unique?

I am wondering whether each bitcoin address is unique. I would assume yes. Then how is this enforced (distributed address generation)? As I understand it each time, an address is generated a new key-...
97
votes
12answers
9k views

Is there a way to set up proof-of-work systems so they would be even more useful?

One of the arguments made against Bitcoin's design choices is that it wastes resources authenticating transactions. In particular, finding small hashes is completely useless for the world. Are there ...
42
votes
3answers
26k views

How can I run bitcoind in pruning mode?

I read this comment: You could consider running a pruning node, which is practically the same as a full node (including security), except it throws away some of the old history. Version 0.11 ...
58
votes
2answers
92k views

Can someone explain how the Bitcoin Blockchain works?

I'm trying to figure out how the blockchain works and how to read it via blockchain.info website. Is there a laymen way of explaining how the block chain works and how to read the blockchain to trace ...
39
votes
2answers
60k views

How can I export the private key for an address from the satoshi client?

If I want to transfer an address from the satoshi client into a different client, how can I find its private key to do so?
36
votes
2answers
43k views

How do I import a private key into Bitcoin-Core?

How do I import a private key into Bitcoin-Qt? bitcoind is nowhere to be found, and pywallet says it requires "bsddb" when I run it, which is also nowhere to be found. I generated some vanity ...
144
votes
2answers
44k views

How do Bitcoin clients find each other?

What protocols or algorithms are Bitcoin clients using in order to find their peers? I learnt that BitTorrent clients may rely on central computers called trackers. Do Bitcoin clients need any kind of ...
35
votes
3answers
49k views

How can I start mining Bitcoin?

Ok. I don't care if I make only a small amount of bitcoins mining. I want to mine. How do I setup my machine (amd x64 4.6Ghz 6GB/RAM with GeForce Nvidia 7300, LinuxMint 10) to start mining? Is it ...
59
votes
7answers
157k views

How many bitcoins will there eventually be?

Since bitcoins are being regularly rewarded to miners, will the number of bitcoins continue to grow indefinitely, or will there be a maximum total number of bitcoins in existence? And if there is ...
31
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the coinbase?

I searched the bitcoin wiki and found references to coinbase, but no clear cut explanation of what exactly it is. I know that miners can tag their coinbases (that is how some sites tell who mined a ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

I didn't receive a Bitcoin Payment. What does it mean when the Client is synchronizing?

Bitcoin newbie here. I recently installed the Bitcoin client, and purchased some bitcoins from Mt.Gox. My problem is that my client is constantly synchronizing. I've checked charts and seen that my ...
62
votes
9answers
26k views

How anonymous are Bitcoin transactions?

I read some sources that say Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, some that say they are semi-anonymous, and some that say they are not anonymous at all. In what ways are the transactions anonymous ...
13
votes
11answers
294k views

How can I sell bitcoins and transfer the funds to my bank account?

A friend of mine gave me two bitcoins which I now want to sell. I don't understand the process which would enable me send the funds generated to my bank account.
138
votes
4answers
228k views

What are bitcoin miners really solving?

As with mining, what are the bitcoin miners really solving? I read they are solving hashes, but what does that really mean. Can we see what they are solving? Can someone give an example of what a ...
27
votes
3answers
11k views

How do transactions leave the memory pool?

How does my bitcoin core client know when to drop a transaction from the memory pool? Is it as simple as a specific period of time?
35
votes
3answers
29k views

Who gets Bitcoin transaction fees?

Whenever I send bitcoins from one wallet or one exchange to the next there is always a fee. This makes sense with the exchange sites, they are just collecting the fee so they can make a living. What ...
39
votes
4answers
56k views

Where is the data folder for Bitcoin-Qt?

Where can I find the blockchain, wallet.dat, etc. on each of the operating systems Bitcoin-Qt supports?
118
votes
10answers
41k views

How much will transaction fees eventually be?

Some people keep evangelizing that Bitcoin transaction fees are much lower than in PayPal or with credit cards. However, once nearly all 21 million bitcoins have been mined, the network will still ...
61
votes
11answers
10k views

Will Bitcoin suffer from a mining Tragedy of the Commons when mining fees drop to zero?

One issue that I haven't seen clearly addressed is the possible Tragedy of the Commons in Bitcoin's future (see this answer). 40 years into the future, the only significant direct benefit for honest ...
30
votes
2answers
42k views

What is an “unspent output”?

What is the meaning of the term "unspent output" in the Bitcoin protocol?
22
votes
5answers
36k views

Bitcoin-Qt setup: Change block-chain file location, settings? documentation?

I am installing Bitcoin-Qt and have been reading about Bitcoin basics, but I found very little information on the client. I have a few questions about the Bitcoin-Qt program (v0.8.1-beta under Windows ...
36
votes
4answers
12k views

Why can’t the genesis block coinbase be spent?

According to the bitcoin wiki: The first 50BTC block reward went to address 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa, though this reward can't be spent due to a quirk in the way that the genesis block is ...
34
votes
2answers
12k views

What are the keys used in the blockchain levelDB (ie what are the key:value pairs)?

I am wondering if I can use node.js and levelup to access a copy of the blockchain database directly. But from what I can see, I need to know the name of the key(s) before I can get any data, as this ...
40
votes
3answers
54k views

What's the difference between a wallet and an address?

Bitcoin seems to have the concept of a wallet and an address. Are they the same thing? If not, how do they differ?
14
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I setup Bitcoin to be anonymous with Tor?

Bitcoin is billed as many things, among them its anonymity is highly regarded. While it is true that a transaction does not identify a user or wallet, recent news shows that there is the potential for ...
59
votes
5answers
26k views

What is a soft fork?

When people talk about possible changes to how Bitcoin works they sometimes say a particular change can be implemented as a soft fork. What does that mean? How does this compare to a hard fork?
56
votes
3answers
67k views

How to calculate transaction size before sending (Legacy Non-Segwit - P2PKH/P2SH)

I know that I pay the transaction fee per kB, so how can I calculate how large the transaction will be before I send it via the RPC api. I run a site using bitcoins, and I cannot let the user's ...
52
votes
4answers
30k views

What keeps the average block time at 10 minutes?

I've been told "the network" sets the difficulty level such that there will be one new block mined every ten minutes. I imagine the rich would instead prefer to keep difficulty as high as possible to ...
41
votes
5answers
27k views

What will happen to mining after the 20 999 999th Bitcoin?

After the 21 millionth bitcoin or 20,999,999th bitcoin is mined, what will happen to bitcoin mining? - will it just stop, or will we make a further division of the satoshi thanks to Bitcoin's infinite ...
22
votes
2answers
15k views

Redeeming a raw transaction step by step example required

I am looking, specifically, for a step by step example transaction of sending Bitcoin which uses an actual transaction (How To Redeem A Basic Txn, from a few years back, does a great job of outlining ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Why doesn't Bitcoin return lost coins back into the block reward?

The idea of putting back lost Bitcoins back onto block rewards seems like a great idea. I acknowledge that there were quite a handful of early adopters who were generating blocks daily, but had no ...
110
votes
5answers
19k views

Why is 6 the number of confirms that is considered secure?

Why is 6 is the number of confirmations that is considered secure? I haven't found any mathematical explanation or otherwise that explains why it is 6 and not 5 or 7. Is there a historical reason for ...
40
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the coin selection algorithm?

When creating a transaction in the standard client, what is the algorithm used to determine which unspent outputs will be used as inputs? Has this changed since the first version? What different ...
44
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the longest blockchain fork that has been orphaned to date?

The orphaned blocks view from BlockChain.info shows a recent fork of the blockchain (starting with block 173,928) that went four blocks long before being orphaned. Other than the controlled rewind ...
47
votes
3answers
14k views

Will there be 21 million bitcoins eventually?

Every x blocks the mining reward is halved. Will the reward be halved forever such that we never quite reach 21 million bitcoins, or will we reach 21 million bitcoins at some point and will the reward ...

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