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160 votes
10 answers
383k 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 ...
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  • 1,879
203 votes
8 answers
115k 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.
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64 votes
2 answers
73k 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 ...
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  • 62.3k
128 votes
7 answers
51k 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 ...
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116 votes
9 answers
335k 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?
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  • 26.3k
51 votes
3 answers
12k 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 ...
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  • 4,721
39 votes
9 answers
9k 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 ...
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148 votes
7 answers
55k 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?
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  • 26.3k
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

I have lost my wallet, what can I do?

I used to be interested in Bitcoin a few years ago and have recently become aware of it again. I used to have a wallet back then. Given that many years have passed, what I remember is a bit fuzzy. ...
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  • 62.3k
82 votes
3 answers
34k views

How to redeem a basic Tx?

Given a raw, standard Tx (wiki): 01000000 01 26c07ece0bce7cda0ccd14d99e205f118cde27e83dd75da7b141fe487b5528fb 00000000 8b ...
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  • 42.7k
17 votes
6 answers
33k 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?
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  • 171
72 votes
3 answers
42k 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 ...
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it normal to be asked for an advance fee on a withdrawal?

I was approached out of the blue being told that I was supposed to receive a sudden windfall, someone opened an automatic trading account in my name, or offered to invest in a lucrative mining ...
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  • 62.3k
139 votes
11 answers
78k 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 ...
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  • 11.4k
110 votes
13 answers
12k 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 ...
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68 votes
9 answers
93k 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?
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  • 14.4k
25 votes
5 answers
27k views

How do I recover from a cryptocurrency scam?

I lost about $45,000 to crypto investment scam just recently. The company posed as an investment company that could deliver a certain percentage in returns if you deposit your Bitcoin with them. At ...
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28 votes
3 answers
14k views

Is each Bitcoin address unique?

I am wondering whether each bitcoin address is unique. I would assume yes. Then, how is this enforced given the distributed address generation? As I understand it, each time an address is generated, a ...
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  • 383
16 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
24k views

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

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 ...
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37 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
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68 votes
2 answers
95k 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 ...
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186 votes
2 answers
57k 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 ...
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  • 2,671
48 votes
3 answers
40k 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 ...
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  • 1,033
43 votes
2 answers
62k 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 ...
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  • 2,684
43 votes
2 answers
76k 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?
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  • 14.7k
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

What kinds of wallets are there?

Can I get short a explanation about cryptocurrency cold/hot wallets? Are there more kinds?
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  • 33
67 votes
7 answers
161k 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 ...
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  • 14.4k
14 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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  • 143
30 votes
2 answers
23k 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 ...
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70 votes
11 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 26.3k
58 votes
3 answers
19k 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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  • 813
53 votes
2 answers
11k 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 ...
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60 votes
4 answers
32k 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 ...
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  • 2,010
37 votes
3 answers
54k 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 ...
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  • 983
33 votes
3 answers
46k views

What is an "unspent output"?

What is the meaning of the term "unspent output" in the Bitcoin protocol?
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  • 26.3k
14 votes
9 answers
505k 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.
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  • 141
163 votes
5 answers
283k 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 ...
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65 votes
5 answers
28k views

What is a soft fork? What is a hard fork? What are their differences?

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?
user avatar
  • 8,319
38 votes
4 answers
15k 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 ...
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  • 1,304
64 votes
9 answers
35k 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 ...
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21 votes
4 answers
24k 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 ...
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  • 3,116
58 votes
2 answers
45k views

What are bitcoin "confirmations"?

When I receive bitcoins I see a certain number of "confirmations" in the client. What do these mean? Why do most sites make me wait for 6 "confirmations" before a purchase will go through?
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  • 5,372
40 votes
3 answers
47k 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 ...
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42 votes
4 answers
73k 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?
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  • 14.7k
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can we be sure that a new block will be found?

How do we know the HASH function will produce an output that fulfills the difficulty, i.e. is below 0000...xxxx...xxx? Is it possible that no proof will be found so that the HASH will produce that ...
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  • 251
130 votes
10 answers
45k 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 ...
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  • 3,487
66 votes
3 answers
80k 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 ...
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42 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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52 votes
3 answers
66k 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?
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  • 6,984

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