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Author Topic: No confirmation on transaction: coins in limbo  (Read 7088 times)
gyverlb
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July 03, 2012, 12:36:15 PM
 #1

Hi,

I sent 72BTC more than 12 hours ago and the transaction still doesn't have a single confirmation.
At the time I was using bitcoin-qt stable on Gentoo Linux (which was 0.5.5 last time I upgraded). The client was setup to not use fees by default (set to 0). The transaction was big (I had a lot of 0.2/0.3 incoming transactions) so it asked me to add fees, which I did : 0.00253952 BTC

When I found out I was using 0.5.5 I upgraded to 0.6.3. Although it obviously cannot retroactively change the transaction at least it lets me get the transaction ID :

2d9f2c37d112c0d6db5261391b97772e88c43317eeec7d4e216211c87d6fa65c

Is there any chance this transaction will get through? If not, how can I make bitcoin-qt forget it to get my coins back?

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gyverlb
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July 03, 2012, 02:49:22 PM
 #2

Reading https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=85689.40

Tried pywallet and bitcointools : nothing worked. With pywallet, deleting the transaction didn't restore my balance and --rescan didn't help.

Fortunately I had a recent wallet backup without this transaction but with all my private keys... Hope 0.6.3 will compute valid fees for my transaction

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gyverlb
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July 03, 2012, 02:59:28 PM
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OK... Now bitcoin-qt 0.6.3 with the restored wallet.dat generated a transaction, but without any fee and it has been confirmed ?!

The only explanation I can think of is that it cherry-picked the biggest transactions in my wallet to build this one on top of, which makes it take less space and being accepted by the network.

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Stephen Gornick
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July 03, 2012, 11:46:23 PM
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Is there any chance this transaction will get through? If not, how can I make bitcoin-qt forget it to get my coins back?

As you learned, if the transaction is valid it will go through eventually.

Tried pywallet and bitcointools : nothing worked. With pywallet, deleting the transaction didn't restore my balance and --rescan didn't help.

Ya, Bitcoin is a little unique in that the transactions can come from anywhere.  So deleting an unconfirmed spend transaction from your own wallet does nothing to stop the transaction previously broadcast from confirming and showing in your wallet once that happens.

You probably are well aware of this now, but for future reference by anyone else reading this thread -- pywallet or other wallet surgery tools are a last resort and only help specific problems.  The options available for a transaction that doesn't confirm are:

1.) wait
or
2.) leave your client running so it will retransmit, then wait.

And keep in mind for next time that for transactions that are time critical, include a 0.001 BTC fee to increase the chances it will get included quickly.

gyverlb
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July 04, 2012, 10:32:42 AM
 #5

Is there any chance this transaction will get through? If not, how can I make bitcoin-qt forget it to get my coins back?

As you learned, if the transaction is valid it will go through eventually.
I'm not sure of what is a valid transaction. The client isn't any help there.

Tried pywallet and bitcointools : nothing worked. With pywallet, deleting the transaction didn't restore my balance and --rescan didn't help.

Ya, Bitcoin is a little unique in that the transactions can come from anywhere.  So deleting an unconfirmed spend transaction from your own wallet does nothing to stop the transaction previously broadcast from confirming and showing in your wallet once that happens.

You probably are well aware of this now, but for future reference by anyone else reading this thread -- pywallet or other wallet surgery tools are a last resort and only help specific problems.  The options available for a transaction that doesn't confirm are:

1.) wait
or
2.) leave your client running so it will retransmit, then wait.

And keep in mind for next time that for transactions that are time critical, include a 0.001 BTC fee to increase the chances it will get included quickly.
But... that just didn't work. The 0.5.5 client included a fee (see my original post) and the transaction never came through. I restored a backup without the transaction and it didn't reappear. A new one with 0.6.3 didn't include a fee and was included in the very next block.

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Stephen Gornick
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July 04, 2012, 10:21:54 PM
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But... that just didn't work. The 0.5.5 client included a fee (see my original post) and the transaction never came through.

It's probably going to be hard for anyone to try to reconstruct exactly what happened in your instance.  If you are still stuck with a problem, please describe the current problem you are having.

But here are the various scenarios each time you spend:

When the bitcoin.org client sends a transaction, it shows 0/unconfirmed for the transaction and at all times one of the following three things are happening:

1.) The transaction was broadcast to the rest of the network but has not yet been included in a block (i.e., shows up on http://Blockchain.info but even there it shows zero confirmations ).

This is because no miners have yet included the transaction in a block.  It will confirm eventually (unless it is a double spend or you are doing something other than using the bitcoin.org client).  There is nothing that can be done to speed things up.  There is no mechanism to cancel the transaction.  It can take minutes to an hour, or if it is a low priority transaction  (small amount, well under 1 BTC or uses coins you had just received) it can take a full day or more

2.) The transaction was broadcast to the rest of the network and has been included in a block (i.e., shows up on http://Blockchain.info with one or more confirmations ), but your client still shows 0/unconfirmed.

This occurs when your client hasn't caught up to the most recent block and thus won't show the confirmations when they occur.

The advice from the following applies:
 - https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#I_was_sent_some_bitcoins_and_they_haven.27t_arrived_yet.21_Where_are_they.3F

3.) The transaction appears to not have been broadcast to the network.  (e.g., Blockchain.info) doesn't show it.

This could be for one of two reasons.  

3.a.) The transaction is invalid because the coins were already spent.  This could happen accidentally if you have two copies of the wallet and spend from both copies without letting the client catch up first.  There is no easy way to fix this (for the client that is currently available).   Simply, don't run two copies of the same wallet in two different places and you'll be fine.  If this truly is what happened, wallet surgery with pywallet is an option or remaining coins can be transferred to an address in an EWallet or a new wallet and start over with an empty wallet.  (back up the old / bad one first though)

or

3.b.) The client was not connected when the spend transaction was made or or for some reason the nodes you were connected to did not relay your transaction.    Simply leave the client running -- a couple times an hour the client will attempt to re-broadcast the transaction to peer nodes.

gyverlb
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July 04, 2012, 11:55:24 PM
 #7

It's probably going to be hard for anyone to try to reconstruct exactly what happened in your instance.
I agree and since the problem happened with an old version I think it would be a waste of time to try to reproduce the problem.

But what seemed a plausible explanation is that I triggered a corner case where the rules for fees used by 0.5.5 where not compatible with the nodes my client was connected to (as I wrote : I had a lot of small incoming transactions before sending this one, it may have had to refer to several hundreds of them to build it).

As I run the client behind a firewall my connectivity is low and might have contributed to the problem: the 8 nodes may have all rejected it.

Anyway, thanks for your time. On the bright side I had the opportunity to verify that my backups are working Smiley

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unclemantis
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July 09, 2012, 12:54:13 AM
 #8

I have the same issue with MtGox and MtGox has told me the following.

Hi,

On checking this appears to be due to a bug at the Eligius mining pool. Once they fix this problem, the btc transactions (small ones) should be able to process properly.

Thanks,

MtGox.com Team

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