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Author Topic: Gathering up dust  (Read 56 times)
ArithmomanicVampire
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December 16, 2017, 09:39:41 PM
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I have the private keys to several outputs in the 0.01 — 0.1 BTC range. This kind of amount is quickly approaching dust level (https://bitcoinfees.earn.com/ currently recommends ~0.001 BTC for a standard transaction). Suppose I'm not at all in a hurry, what is the best strategy to avoid the outputs to become effectively unspendable in the future?

  • Combine them all in a single output?
    • Since I'm not in a hurry, I could use a very small transaction fee, say one that gives the transaction a ~10 % chance of getting mined. If it doesn't get through, I can simply resend it.
    • I read somewhere that transactions stay in the mempool for 72 hours. Is that correct?
  • Do nothing and just wait?
    • The lightning network should make sending bitcoins cheaper. But that per se doesn't help in this case as the small outputs are still there at a fundamental level.
    • However, if the lightning network reduces the number of actual bitcoin transactions, they should become cheaper.
    • The transaction costs may not go up much higher because only holders of larger assets would be willing to pay the fees, leading to an equilibrium.
  • Something else?
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aleksej996
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December 16, 2017, 09:43:56 PM
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LN and Segwit (once it reaches higher adoption) should definitely reduce the fees for everyone, even those who are not using these new features.

So my advice is to wait and hold your bitcoins. Eventually they will be worth more and fees will be lower, just be patient.
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December 16, 2017, 10:05:12 PM
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I have the private keys to several outputs in the 0.01 — 0.1 BTC range. This kind of amount is quickly approaching dust level (https://bitcoinfees.earn.com/ currently recommends ~0.001 BTC for a standard transaction). Suppose I'm not at all in a hurry, what is the best strategy to avoid the outputs to become effectively unspendable in the future?

  • Combine them all in a single output?
    • Since I'm not in a hurry, I could use a very small transaction fee, say one that gives the transaction a ~10 % chance of getting mined. If it doesn't get through, I can simply resend it.
    • I read somewhere that transactions stay in the mempool for 72 hours. Is that correct?
  • Do nothing and just wait?
    • The lightning network should make sending bitcoins cheaper. But that per se doesn't help in this case as the small outputs are still there at a fundamental level.
    • However, if the lightning network reduces the number of actual bitcoin transactions, they should become cheaper.
    • The transaction costs may not go up much higher because only holders of larger assets would be willing to pay the fees, leading to an equilibrium.
  • Something else?

You should combine them all together, and then try to have atleast 5sat/b, and try to get it confirmed by adding it into mining pool accelerators such as http://confirmtx.com.

Transactions usually stay in the mempool depending on how long you keep broadcasting them. If you don't stop broadcasting it, it won't disappear.


jesusvs_dots
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December 16, 2017, 10:07:24 PM
 #4

LN and Segwit (once it reaches higher adoption) should definitely reduce the fees for everyone, even those who are not using these new features.

So my advice is to wait and hold your bitcoins. Eventually they will be worth more and fees will be lower, just be patient.

Good to know, I wasnt clearly understanding the meaning of segwit because with this higher fees I believed i didnt work at all.
ArithmomanicVampire
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December 17, 2017, 04:35:43 PM
 #5

Thanks for all your input.

After thinking about it, I've decided to let my outputs rest in peace for the time being. At the same time, I'll try to avoid creating new outputs below 0.1 BTC.

In the meantime, either the fees will fall, or bitcoin will have a mass adoption problem anyway.
buwaytress
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December 17, 2017, 07:54:55 PM
 #6

A minimum range of 0.01 BTC is quickly approaching dust level? That's new to me, but I guess I understand where you're coming from. However, gotta understand that network is congested so this is... a temporary situation. Anyway the estimator you're talking about refers to that fee for a 90% chance of confirmation within the next block, you could actually still send less than half that and get it confirmed within 3 hours or less.

The only strategy... I do "spring cleaning" every now and then of my inputs. Just wait for a period when mempool is below 10k (trust me, it will come... it's come several times this year in between heavy loads). Then you combine all your inputs, pay a minimal fee and you get it consolidated.

A second strategy if you really are concerned with dust and don't mind risking your coins waiting at an online service, use a site's deposit address to collect all that dust, then when it becomes enough, withdraw it all. You probably save a lot on fees that way, and I suppose some sites are reputable enough that you could risk a certain amount.

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