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Author Topic: double spend attempt, client none the wiser  (Read 885 times)
netrin
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July 05, 2011, 05:54:12 PM
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Early last month, while trying to understand keys, wallets, security, and backup, I believe I inadvertently attempted to double spend. The client is not handling it gracefully (the UI displays two semi-duplicate transactions neither of which occurred and a zero balance even after thousands of blocks). While I am not entirely sure about the order of events, I believe the following steps might be correct:

I created a wallet (A), received coins, sent coins, closed client.

I copied wallet, rescanned with new copy (B), and sent the same coins to different addresses.

Now, when I open wallet A, I see a transaction sent to <blank> address with almost 7000 confirmations. In the new client I ALSO have a similar transaction sent to an address not known to the blockexplorer with the exact same June timestamp but with 0/unconfirmed.

While I would like to think the coins are still available to me, I believe they were actually sent (from the copied B wallet). I'll be happy to disclose the addresses in question to client developers (PM me) in order to improve the client transactional log.

--

But aside from this odd behavior, it highlights the need for more address transparency. I can not see to what address the transaction is sending (abnormal), nor can I see from which address the coins are coming (normal). In this case, I can guess at the sending addresses because I've received with a limited number of addresses. I do not know what addresses are 'hidden' in my wallet, and therefore do not know whether wallet A is a pure subset of B and can thus be deleted.

My personal feeling on the UX matter is to think of and display addresses as accounts and a wallet as a portfolio. I think the wallet metaphor creates confusion.

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Pieter Wuille
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July 05, 2011, 07:25:14 PM
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See http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=5920.0

aka sipa, core dev team

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