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Author Topic: Serial numbers  (Read 2110 times)
acolombo
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September 16, 2011, 06:10:19 PM
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Hi, do bitcoins have anything like serial numbers that could make them traceable?
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September 16, 2011, 06:11:27 PM
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You can use BlockExplorer for somekind tracing Cheesy
Anonymous
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September 16, 2011, 06:11:59 PM
 #3

Yes and no.

Ownership of a Bitcoin doesn't have to be recorded. So you could trace a Bitcoin but it doesn't have to have a tie to an identity, defeating any use traceability might have.
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September 16, 2011, 06:14:25 PM
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Hi, do bitcoins have anything like serial numbers that could make them traceable?

No.

Bitcoins don't really exist. They are just a number associated with a given address. You can see how many bitcoins are in a certain address and how many bitcoins were sent from that address to another address.

See http://blockexplorer.com/ if you are interested in tracking bitcoins.
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September 16, 2011, 06:22:07 PM
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Hi, do bitcoins have anything like serial numbers that could make them traceable?
Bitcoins don't really exist.

This is the most ignorant thing I've read all day.
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September 16, 2011, 06:26:14 PM
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Bitcoins don't really exist.
This is the most ignorant thing I've read all day.

A bitcoin is a number associated with an address. You can not serialize it. It's impossible. Maybe you should read this
acolombo
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September 16, 2011, 06:39:33 PM
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Bitcoins don't really exist.
This is the most ignorant thing I've read all day.

A bitcoin is a number associated with an address. You can not serialize it. It's impossible. Maybe you should read this


From what I gather, there is not such a thing as a bitcoin element, so the answer would be NO. So there could never be such a thing as a tainted/false/stolen bitcoin, right?
Aldo
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September 16, 2011, 06:44:32 PM
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From what I gather, there is not such a thing as a bitcoin element, so the answer would be NO. So there could never be such a thing as a tainted/false/stolen bitcoin, right?
Aldo

Exactly.

But you can trace whatever comes in/out of addresses. So if you have one bitcoin at a certain address and someone steals that bitcoin by transferring it, you can find out the destination address. All transactions are publicly logged.
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September 16, 2011, 08:15:37 PM
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Yeah, bitcoins really don't exist.

When you spend, you are really broadcasting a message to the network that says "Here is proof that I have the secret number (private key) associated with these old transactions, and I want to transfer control of the balances they represent to whoever can prove they have the secret numbers corresponding to these new addresses."

Everything can be traced through the public block chain, so some coins might end up with a dubious history, but they can't really become tainted or invalidated.  They can be lost though, if a private key for an address is ever lost, or if it never existed (1BitcoinEater).

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September 17, 2011, 07:16:41 PM
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They do exist.
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September 17, 2011, 07:32:01 PM
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They do exist.

Existence is a relative concept Cool

I'll tell you what, I will define roughly what a one dollar bill is:

It's a rectangular piece of paper made of a wood pulp, cloth, silk, and linen. It has George Washington's portrait, the Federal Reserve District Seal next to it and a serial number below.

There are more details, but this is correct. Now my challenge is: write me a correct and unambiguous definition of what one bitcoin is.
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September 17, 2011, 07:34:23 PM
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A bunch of 0 and 1
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September 18, 2011, 12:02:04 AM
 #13

Yes, the coins have something like a "Serial number" (it's the address you receive the coins on).  It's easy to trace the history of addresses that a coin passed through, but harder to figure out who actually owns those addresses.

The full answer is somewhat complicated.  You should read this:  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Anonymity

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tuckerlee
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September 18, 2011, 07:56:05 PM
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From my understanding they are kind of built to be anonymous. A third party tracking system that tracks bitcoins traded within the entity could be useful as a mass escrow service, incorporating multiple trade exchanges and multiple currencies. Lots of work there though.

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September 19, 2011, 07:09:15 AM
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Existence is a relative concept Cool

I'll tell you what, I will define roughly what a one dollar bill is:

It's a rectangular piece of paper made of a wood pulp, cloth, silk, and linen. It has George Washington's portrait, the Federal Reserve District Seal next to it and a serial number below.


You have never had a one dollar bill in your head. Your knowledge of their existence is limited to your experience of external stimuli. The epistemological status of dollars and bitcoins is the same to you.

 Grin
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September 19, 2011, 09:15:52 AM
 #16

Information exist, so bitcoins ARE real.

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September 19, 2011, 10:43:07 AM
 #17

Each bitcoin address has a balance. The amount of bitcoins per address is what is stored in the blockchain. There is nothing that ties individual payments to particular "coins", so in that aspect, Bitcoins don't exist. Someone pays me, their balance goes down and mine goes up. I pay someone, my balance goes down. There is no notion of which coins were used.

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September 19, 2011, 11:01:02 AM
 #18

Information exist, so bitcoins ARE real.




i think of them like a bucket of water, and a bitcoin is a 'drop' of water, the bucket full of water is 21 million drops.

but when they're all in the bucket together, the 'drops' don't exist.
acolombo
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September 19, 2011, 02:17:37 PM
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Information exist, so bitcoins ARE real.




i think of them like a bucket of water, and a bitcoin is a 'drop' of water, the bucket full of water is 21 million drops.

but when they're all in the bucket together, the 'drops' don't exist.


Well, we all have differents ways to understand the same concept.
What I wanted to know in the first place I beleive is clear nonetheless, if I receive BTC from different addresses to the same wallet, once they are in my wallet they are all mixed up, when I use part of it, then noone can tell if I used the coins I got from A or B.
kjj
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September 19, 2011, 02:20:06 PM
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Well, we all have differents ways to understand the same concept.
What I wanted to know in the first place I beleive is clear nonetheless, if I receive BTC from different addresses to the same wallet, once they are in my wallet they are all mixed up, when I use part of it, then noone can tell if I used the coins I got from A or B.

No, they can tell exactly where they came from.

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