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Author Topic: block explorer does not show actual address balance ???  (Read 1457 times)
fivemileshigh
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December 11, 2011, 08:49:27 PM
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I'm sure this is something I don't get due to my own limited capacities, but please bear with me and help if you can:

I've done some test transactions in the last few days between 2 bitcoin clients running on separate computers, and between an online exchange and my clients. On one of the clients, it properly shows the transactions and the total balance of 125.0 btc (all transferred to the same address btw) Block explorer shows some old transactions, none of the ones in the last few days, and a balance of 1.698843 BTC.

Any ideas?

thanks!
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kokjo
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December 11, 2011, 09:14:50 PM
 #2

its likely to be because of the change addresses. go check upon them

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December 11, 2011, 11:21:00 PM
 #3

Do you mind sharing the addresses so I can have a look?

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theymos
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December 12, 2011, 01:03:10 AM
 #4

Quote from: Bitcoin Block Explorer
Note: While the last "balance" is the accurate number of bitcoins available to this address, it is likely not the balance available to this person. Every time a transaction is sent, some bitcoins are usually sent back to yourself at a new address (not included in the Bitcoin UI), which makes the balance of a single address misleading. See the wiki for more info on transactions.

1NXYoJ5xU91Jp83XfVMHwwTUyZFK64BoAD
fivemileshigh
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December 12, 2011, 10:12:59 AM
 #5

Quote from: Bitcoin Block Explorer
Note: While the last "balance" is the accurate number of bitcoins available to this address, it is likely not the balance available to this person. Every time a transaction is sent, some bitcoins are usually sent back to yourself at a new address (not included in the Bitcoin UI), which makes the balance of a single address misleading. See the wiki for more info on transactions.

Sure, the address is

16s9vvyp5HMTW9Wa2AHQBHC4dAQaoB7xti

Thank you Theymos, I should have posted this part because I think this is the part that I'm getting wrong. I read the bolded part and I understood it as follows:

I run a bitcoin client. It gave me the above receive address. I then transferred btc to this one address a number of times from another btc client of mine on another computer. I expected that when I go to block explorer it would show me all the incoming transactions and the total balance at this address. I have transferred 1, 126 and 1.0005 btc in, and the last balance shown is 2.8905. (Note: there was some previous activity to this address when I first started looking into btc, but I gave up due to not understanding how it works).

So, what am I getting wrong?


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December 12, 2011, 10:33:47 AM
 #6

Thank you Theymos, I should have posted this part because I think this is the part that I'm getting wrong. I read the bolded part and I understood it as follows:

I run a bitcoin client. It gave me the above receive address. I then transferred btc to this one address a number of times from another btc client of mine on another computer. I expected that when I go to block explorer it would show me all the incoming transactions and the total balance at this address. I have transferred 1, 126 and 1.0005 btc in, and the last balance shown is 2.8905. (Note: there was some previous activity to this address when I first started looking into btc, but I gave up due to not understanding how it works).

So, what am I getting wrong?

But, you've sent coins from this address, too. If you've spent any of the coins you sent to that address, then of course it should be lower, right? You might be confused because when you send coins with the bitcoin client, you don't see which address they came from. If you understood that, but are just surprised by how small the balance is, it's because of the change.

fivemileshigh
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December 12, 2011, 10:59:41 AM
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But, you've sent coins from this address, too. If you've spent any of the coins you sent to that address, then of course it should be lower, right? You might be confused because when you send coins with the bitcoin client, you don't see which address they came from. If you understood that, but are just surprised by how small the balance is, it's because of the change.

Yes it's true, I have also spent some coins from the address in the course of playing around with the two clients. I think I understand what you're saying. The wallet pools the balance of all its addresses, and when I do a spend it decides how much to send from the various addresses, i.e. it won't necessarily take the entire amount from ONE address. It makes sense, in hindsight. I have to sleep on it some more.

Many many thanks guys!

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December 12, 2011, 11:02:11 AM
 #8

Here's the address: https://blockexplorer.com/address/16s9vvyp5HMTW9Wa2AHQBHC4dAQaoB7xti

You receive 0.15, 0.25, 0.49, 0.808843 for a total of 1.698843;
Tx:2f440 You send 0.177 to 1HCtDZ, and receive 0.631843 change to 19Tup2.
You receive twice more, notably 126.0 in Tx:598b1
Tx:e8d0a You send 2.631843 to 1HCtDZ, and receive 123.378157 change to 133Prm.
You receive one last time, back from 1HCtDZ.

Received:
0.15 + 0.25 + 0.49 + 0.808843 + 1.0 + 126.0 + 1.0005 = 129.699343

Sent (excluding change):
0.177 + 2.631843 = 2.808843

End balances:
16s9vv = 2.8905
19Tup2 = 0.631843
133Prm = 123.368157
Total = 126.8905

129.699343(received) - 2.808843(sent) = 126.8905 (total balance)

Most of your coins ended up over at 133Prm, which is part of your wallet, automatically generated for change.

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Bitcoin is the Devil's way of teaching geeks economics.  --Revalin 165YUuQUWhBz3d27iXKxRiazQnjEtJNG9g
fivemileshigh
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December 13, 2011, 09:22:19 AM
 #9

Here's the address: https://blockexplorer.com/address/16s9vvyp5HMTW9Wa2AHQBHC4dAQaoB7xti

You receive 0.15, 0.25, 0.49, 0.808843 for a total of 1.698843;
Tx:2f440 You send 0.177 to 1HCtDZ, and receive 0.631843 change to 19Tup2.
You receive twice more, notably 126.0 in Tx:598b1
Tx:e8d0a You send 2.631843 to 1HCtDZ, and receive 123.378157 change to 133Prm.
You receive one last time, back from 1HCtDZ.

Received:
0.15 + 0.25 + 0.49 + 0.808843 + 1.0 + 126.0 + 1.0005 = 129.699343

Sent (excluding change):
0.177 + 2.631843 = 2.808843

End balances:
16s9vv = 2.8905
19Tup2 = 0.631843
133Prm = 123.368157
Total = 126.8905

129.699343(received) - 2.808843(sent) = 126.8905 (total balance)

Most of your coins ended up over at 133Prm, which is part of your wallet, automatically generated for change.

You sir, are the enlightener of the creaky brains of old people like me.

It took half an hour of doing the math on paper and trying to follow the various addresses and transactions on block explorer but I think I'm starting to get it. I'll tell you how I now understand what happened. Would you kindly have a read and tell me if I do get it?

So I received 0.15, 0.25 0.49 and 0.808843 to 16s9v.
In the first client, I ordered a send of 0.177 to the second client at address 1HCtD.
The sending client chose take the amount 0.808843, send 0.177 from it to 1HCtD, and send back the change of 0.631843 to another of it's own addresses, namely 19Tup2.

(....another 20 minutes and a coffee pass)

Reading your post again, this is precisely what you said, so I think I finally get it. The later transactions, including the one with 126 btc are just more of the same.

This leads me to two conclusions most important to me:

1. By looking at an address in block explorer, the balance in the bottom right corner is the actual balance of the wallet provided 2 conditions are met: Only one address was used to receive btc, AND, there were no spends.

2. If 1. is correct, that means one can create a wallet offline, and provided it is never brought online, the coins sent to it are completely safe (provided of course the wallet.dat file is safeguarded at all times), even if no other subsequent backups are ever created. I.e. I create a wallet offline, use only ONE receive address, make 2,000 deposits to it, and if my grandchildren get a useable, uncorrupted wallet.dat 50 years later, they will have access to the btc on it, even though it is the original, initially created wallet.dat. (of course, provided bitcoin still exists and the network accepts a 50 year old wallet)

Is this all correct?

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December 13, 2011, 09:37:37 AM
 #10

This leads me to two conclusions most important to me:

1. By looking at an address in block explorer, the balance in the bottom right corner is the actual balance of the wallet provided 2 conditions are met: Only one address was used to receive btc, AND, there were no spends.

2. If 1. is correct, that means one can create a wallet offline, and provided it is never brought online, the coins sent to it are completely safe (provided of course the wallet.dat file is safeguarded at all times), even if no other subsequent backups are ever created. I.e. I create a wallet offline, use only ONE receive address, make 2,000 deposits to it, and if my grandchildren get a useable, uncorrupted wallet.dat 50 years later, they will have access to the btc on it, even though it is the original, initially created wallet.dat. (of course, provided bitcoin still exists and the network accepts a 50 year old wallet)

Is this all correct?
Yes, both points are correct. Though, personally I would be wary of keeping my life savings in a wallet which I have never ever checked actually works.

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finway
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December 13, 2011, 09:40:35 AM
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I usually send all coins to my address everymonth,
get them together.

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December 13, 2011, 10:15:17 AM
 #12

Would you kindly have a read and tell me if I do get it?

Dead on, you got it!


Quote
1. By looking at an address in block explorer, the balance in the bottom right corner is the actual balance of the wallet provided 2 conditions are met: Only one address was used to receive btc, AND, there were no spends.

Correct.  To prevent ambiguity it's best to refer to it as the balance of an address.  A "wallet" implies a group of addresses.  But yes, as long as those conditions are met, your statement is correct for the wallet as a whole since all the other addresses will have a balance of 0.


Quote
2. If 1. is correct, that means one can create a wallet offline, and provided it is never brought online, the coins sent to it are completely safe ....

Yes.  In fact, some people create "paper wallets" - You generate a key pair with a small program, print it out on paper, and that's it.  You don't even have to notify the network about the existence of the address; it finds out when people can send coins to the address, which can happen any time.  When you're ready to spend you import the secret key into a wallet - IE, you manually type it in, and then the coins appear.  Just make sure you keep that paper safe!  If you lose it, the coins are gone; if someone takes a picture of it, they get your coins.

You can try making one over here if you want to give it a try:  https://www.bitaddress.org/

      War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.  --Ambrose Bierce
Bitcoin is the Devil's way of teaching geeks economics.  --Revalin 165YUuQUWhBz3d27iXKxRiazQnjEtJNG9g
fivemileshigh
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December 13, 2011, 11:51:00 AM
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Would you kindly have a read and tell me if I do get it?

Dead on, you got it!


This is beyond cool! Thank you so very much for your time, my trust in bitcoin has gone up to 100%, finally Smiley Thank you to all other posters as well, everything was helpful!



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December 13, 2011, 01:29:53 PM
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No problem, I'm glad we got you squared away!

If you care to tip, I encourage sending spare coins this way: http://www.archive.org/donate/index.php .  (I'm not affiliated other than being an appreciative user of their services.)

      War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.  --Ambrose Bierce
Bitcoin is the Devil's way of teaching geeks economics.  --Revalin 165YUuQUWhBz3d27iXKxRiazQnjEtJNG9g
fivemileshigh
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December 13, 2011, 04:31:42 PM
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No problem, I'm glad we got you squared away!

If you care to tip, I encourage sending spare coins this way: http://www.archive.org/donate/index.php .  (I'm not affiliated other than being an appreciative user of their services.)

I do actually, I thought I'd send some your way but noticed you don't post a receive address like I've seen others, so I dropped the idea. I did however, to the archive. Seems like a worthy cause anyway.

BTW, just for fun I looked at the transaction and I still needed a few seconds to figure it out, lol. I did though, in the end Smiley

http://blockexplorer.com/tx/f9f5e5c1f4c986b54bc17cd9b83e518e6fc0eb63f4b5ed6647963fb4e534a9ec#o1

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December 17, 2011, 10:57:38 AM
 #16

 I usually don't stump for coins, but that one's a worthy cause that just started accepting, so I figured they were worth a plug.

Thank you for the donation.  Smiley

      War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.  --Ambrose Bierce
Bitcoin is the Devil's way of teaching geeks economics.  --Revalin 165YUuQUWhBz3d27iXKxRiazQnjEtJNG9g
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