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Author Topic: Bitcoin Block Explorer  (Read 26648 times)
theymos
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November 10, 2010, 02:33:29 AM
 #1

I created a site that lets you view detailed information about Bitcoin blocks, addresses, and transactions.

http://theymos.ath.cx:64150/bbe/

This data is all gotten from the block chain. It has always been possible to get this data, but you had to patch Bitcoin with getblock or use the clunky -printblock switch in Bitcoin, and then you had to search through miles of data to get what you wanted. Now everything is available in a clickable and easily-searchable format.

Some highlights:

- The genesis block, which is included with every version of Bitcoin. If you click the only transaction in this block (the generation transaction), you will see that the "genesis coins" have not yet been spent ("not yet redeemed" in "outputs").

- 198.99 BTC has been donated to the EFF since a Bitcoin address was added to their site. (As of this writing. Hopefully more will be added.)

- Bitcoin Faucet has sent and received a ton of transactions. Because of the way change works in Bitcoin, the total balance on this page is not the actual Faucet balance, and this page does not represent all Faucet transactions.

- Surprisingly, the three transactions with unknown "to" addresses in this block are the only non-standard transactions in the block chain. The repeated OP_CHECKSIG commands cause everyone downloading the block chain to do extra cryptography -- the bug that allowed this transaction to be included is now fixed, but these old transactions still exist.

- 50 BTC has already been donated to BBE, even though I hadn't officially announced it yet. Thanks! If you click on the transaction and follow it back one transaction, you can see that the coin used to donate to me was a generation from January 2010.

- Following one of the addresses used by a scammer (according to BuyBitcoins), you can get all of the addresses that ever received coins from this address:
1PwQfGPUFfuqqsmqpg8GegKziMV5Y3qfyr
18oCRAYcQEFbgm7nUCnJ7CqfgYxrhj9Des
16Fdg74JrkWogNDLDM8FJS1k5QrKAouBts
12cPg8VXSL3R3GnphKbpabC14S1sZXbsmU
19w4JEHG2fjVkEeheLSQNTZmmj81KvSzK7
If you own one of these addresses, then maybe you can identify this scammer. This list is only going one level deep -- it's also possible to find a list of every address that received "stolen coins" from the original address, possibly through multiple levels.

I hope BBE will be useful and informative. One of my main motivations for creating it was to inform people of the exact limitations of Bitcoin's anonymity -- it's possible to remain anonymous, but only if you're careful.

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November 10, 2010, 02:52:44 AM
 #2

As a non-programmer, I like this. I can see how my transactions are not 100% anonymous.

I'd like to re-visit that bitcoin laundromat...

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November 10, 2010, 03:09:19 AM
 #3

This is amazing.

A question. When you send coins and get change both addresses are listed, are they listed in the same order every time? Is it random, or alphabetical...

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November 10, 2010, 03:11:02 AM
 #4

When I sell something on BiddingPond and post the address to pay to in the listing, this would help verify payment was sent.

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theymos
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November 10, 2010, 03:15:38 AM
 #5

Thanks for the donation and nice comments!

I just noticed a bug, which I won't be able to fix today: the type of transaction listed after "Sent" or "Received" on address pages is wrong.

A question. When you send coins and get change both addresses are listed, are they listed in the same order every time? Is it random, or alphabetical...

The order is randomized when sent. BBE shows them in an unspecified order on address and block pages (I might change this), but it preserves the block's ordering on transaction pages.

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November 10, 2010, 03:20:11 AM
 #6

Thanks for the donation and nice comments!

I just noticed a bug, which I won't be able to fix today: the type of transaction listed after "Sent" or "Received" on address pages is wrong.

A question. When you send coins and get change both addresses are listed, are they listed in the same order every time? Is it random, or alphabetical...

The order is randomized when sent. BBE shows them in the order that they appear in the block.

Cool, thanks. It's sometimes "obvious" like in the recent block 846.63 = 826.63 + 20, but you can't rely on that for arrests, etc. Well, i guess you could...

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November 10, 2010, 03:44:20 AM
 #7

So are listed balances correct, but the faucet is off because it uses/used multiple addresses or something? Can you elaborate on the change issue you mentioned?

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theymos
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November 10, 2010, 03:52:15 AM
 #8

I made it so inputs/outputs are always listed in the order they appear in blocks.

So are listed balances correct, but the faucet is off because it uses/used multiple addresses or something? Can you elaborate on the change issue you mentioned?

Most of the faucet's balance is stored in addresses created when sending change. Here you can see that it sent 0.5 to someone, and then sent back to a new address - this new address does the same thing, and the new address from that transaction does the same thing, etc. You can also see the ordering randomization from this chain of transactions.

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November 10, 2010, 04:02:47 AM
 #9

I made it so inputs/outputs are always listed in the order they appear in blocks.

So are listed balances correct, but the faucet is off because it uses/used multiple addresses or something? Can you elaborate on the change issue you mentioned?

Most of the faucet's balance is stored in addresses created when sending change. Here you can see that it sent 0.5 to someone, and then sent back to a new address - this new address does the same thing, and the new address from that transaction does the same thing, etc. You can also see the ordering randomization from this chain of transactions.

Oh, duh. I get it. They just don't bother to re-aggregate in to one address all the time.

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FreeMoney
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November 10, 2010, 04:43:45 AM
 #10

A "total received by this address" would be cool.

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November 10, 2010, 10:26:43 AM
 #11

Thanks theymos, this was much needed. I sent you some bitcoins for your efforts Smiley

Will you be releasing the source? Or maybe just giving access to your processed data in a nice format? I'd like to try to make some GraphViz charts (for example, being able to graph all transactions to/from a certain address given a maximum depth - that sort of thing).
theymos
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November 10, 2010, 04:27:31 PM
 #12

Thanks theymos, this was much needed. I sent you some bitcoins for your efforts Smiley

Will you be releasing the source? Or maybe just giving access to your processed data in a nice format? I'd like to try to make some GraphViz charts (for example, being able to graph all transactions to/from a certain address given a maximum depth - that sort of thing).

Thanks!

I will not release the source unless there is a lot of demand for it. It is written specifically for BBE, and it would probably not be very useful for learning about Bitcoin or making similar things. For example, my getblock->SQL script does a bunch of unnecessary and redundant work in order to create database tables that can be efficiently accessed by BBE.

Here are the PHP base58/address functions that I wrote for this project, though:
http://pastebin.com/vmRQC7ha

I will offer data (maybe for a small fee). What format would be useful?

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November 10, 2010, 10:39:15 PM
 #13

I'm suggesting you do this, but it just occurred to me that you could add the ability to put notes on everything wiki style.

Comments about addresses especially. This could be useful for sharing information while investigating scams and such. Plus it would just be fun to sift through all the labels people put on stuff, like I was wondering how much the mtgox donation addy got, I think I found it from my transaction history, but I don't know for sure, or if he had a different one up previously, etc.

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theymos
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November 10, 2010, 11:21:27 PM
 #14

I'm suggesting you do this, but it just occurred to me that you could add the ability to put notes on everything wiki style.

Comments about addresses especially. This could be useful for sharing information while investigating scams and such. Plus it would just be fun to sift through all the labels people put on stuff, like I was wondering how much the mtgox donation addy got, I think I found it from my transaction history, but I don't know for sure, or if he had a different one up previously, etc.

I was thinking about that, too, but it seems to me that any comments would get lost in the gigantic sea of pages. If I see a lot of "look at this cool thing on BBE!" posts on the forum, I will implement this.

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November 11, 2010, 12:51:28 AM
 #15

I'm suggesting you do this, but it just occurred to me that you could add the ability to put notes on everything wiki style.

Comments about addresses especially. This could be useful for sharing information while investigating scams and such. Plus it would just be fun to sift through all the labels people put on stuff, like I was wondering how much the mtgox donation addy got, I think I found it from my transaction history, but I don't know for sure, or if he had a different one up previously, etc.

I was thinking about that, too, but it seems to me that any comments would get lost in the gigantic sea of pages. If I see a lot of "look at this cool thing on BBE!" posts on the forum, I will implement this.

I can think of a few ways to fix that.

There could be a page of new comments.

It could also be searchable. So if there was a taabl controversy searching "taabl" would bring up a list of relevant addresses.

Anyway, just thinking aloud. It is very useful as it is.

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theymos
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November 12, 2010, 10:59:59 PM
 #16

A "total received by this address" would be cool.

Done.

I just noticed a bug, which I won't be able to fix today: the type of transaction listed after "Sent" or "Received" on address pages is wrong.

Fixed. It was actually only "Sent" that was broken.

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November 12, 2010, 11:17:55 PM
 #17

I created a site that lets you view detailed information about Bitcoin blocks, addresses, and transactions.

This is a generally awesome tool.  In addition to it's other uses, it will allow us to keep Mybitcoin.com and it's (presumedly less honest) future competitors from the temptation of fractional reserve nonsense.  Just the threat that any Joe can run his addresses past block explorer and tell if his funds have been mixed with other accounts not his own, or otherwise borrowed without consent, should be enough to keep most on the up-and-up.  Not that I don't have a fair trust of Mybitcoin.com, I do have an account that has been climbing in value as of late, but I also feel better knowing that I can check on my balances without having to trust the websites' honesty itself.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 12, 2010, 11:21:16 PM
 #18

I created a site that lets you view detailed information about Bitcoin blocks, addresses, and transactions.

This is a generally awesome tool.  In addition to it's other uses, it will allow us to keep Mybitcoin.com and it's (presumedly less honest) future competitors from the temptation of fractional reserve nonsense.  Just the threat that any Joe can run his addresses past block explorer and tell if his funds have been mixed with other accounts not his own, or otherwise borrowed without consent, should be enough to keep most on the up-and-up.  Not that I don't have a fair trust of Mybitcoin.com, I do have an account that has been climbing in value as of late, but I also feel better knowing that I can check on my balances without having to trust the websites' honesty itself.

How does that work? You send coins to an address they gave you, then request a few back and the change goes elsewhere. Do they then send the change back to the address you know?

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November 13, 2010, 12:00:40 AM
 #19

I created a site that lets you view detailed information about Bitcoin blocks, addresses, and transactions.

This is a generally awesome tool.  In addition to it's other uses, it will allow us to keep Mybitcoin.com and it's (presumedly less honest) future competitors from the temptation of fractional reserve nonsense.  Just the threat that any Joe can run his addresses past block explorer and tell if his funds have been mixed with other accounts not his own, or otherwise borrowed without consent, should be enough to keep most on the up-and-up.  Not that I don't have a fair trust of Mybitcoin.com, I do have an account that has been climbing in value as of late, but I also feel better knowing that I can check on my balances without having to trust the websites' honesty itself.

How does that work? You send coins to an address they gave you, then request a few back and the change goes elsewhere. Do they then send the change back to the address you know?

How does what work?  Fractional reserve or auditing them with block explorer?

If you mean, how does one audit your addresses with block explorer, simply check the addresses that you have to make sure that there have been no transactions that you didn't do yourself and that the address balances add up to what you should have.  If you have more than what you should have, then the website is sharing accounts among users and tracking the individual values internally.  Which would allow the website owner to loan out portions of the pooled balance, much like how fractional reserve banks do now, since they don't actually keep your money on hand.  If there has been any transactions in or out of said accounts that you didn't perform, then that means the website owner is using member accounts to "float" his own activities.

EDIT:  Except I can't actually see all of the addresses used in my Mybitcoin.com account.  That's going to be something I need to ask for.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 13, 2010, 12:15:32 AM
 #20

This is a generally awesome tool.  In addition to it's other uses, it will allow us to keep Mybitcoin.com and it's (presumedly less honest) future competitors from the temptation of fractional reserve nonsense.  Just the threat that any Joe can run his addresses past block explorer and tell if his funds have been mixed with other accounts not his own, or otherwise borrowed without consent, should be enough to keep most on the up-and-up.  Not that I don't have a fair trust of Mybitcoin.com, I do have an account that has been climbing in value as of late, but I also feel better knowing that I can check on my balances without having to trust the websites' honesty itself.

hmmm, has this ever been possible?

It seems like mybitcoin, bitcoinmarket, mtgox etc. all use a shared wallet to store deposits, and make withdrawals.  Accounts are kept straight through a separate accounting system.  Thus you cannot be guaranteed that your BTC deposit isn't immediately -- and legitimately -- withdrawn by someone else.

Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core dev team and BitPay engineer; opinions are my own, not my employer.
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