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Author Topic: Testnet stability (was Lost coins on testnet)  (Read 1652 times)
wumpus
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May 25, 2011, 06:33:38 PM
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I've been mining on the testnet for the last few days, had collected about BTC 1000 confirmed, but this evening suddenly all my transactions were gone again.

This also happened to someone else on IRC. He mined his coins last week, tried to send me some but today they were gone.

What happened on the testnet? Did it split/rejoin?

I have the latest git version of bitcoin.

Edit: I also asked the testnet faucet to send me some coins, but they haven't arrived yet (more than an hour ago).

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
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Raulo
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May 25, 2011, 06:49:50 PM
 #2

I've been mining on the testnet for the last few days, had collected about BTC 1000 confirmed, but this evening suddenly all my transactions were gone again.

This also happened to someone else on IRC. He mined his coins last week, tried to send me some but today they were gone.

What happened on the testnet? Did it split/rejoin?

Likely chain reorganization. It is frequent in testnet.

Stop your deamon, and run the following command (assuming Unix-like system):
Code:
./bitcoind -testnet -printblocktree

It will print the block tree and exit. You will see if your coins were in an orphaned chain.

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wumpus
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May 25, 2011, 08:23:18 PM
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Thanks Smiley

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
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May 26, 2011, 03:34:51 AM
 #4

I know there are some people that claim "this is supposed to happen on the testnet". Partially, I agree with that. I couldn't care less about losing these coins specifically.

On the other hand, a stable testnet is somewhat important for people that want to debug and test merchant sites.

This time, it took me about two days to generate any coins on the testnet, the coins the faucet sent me never arrived (and still, it insisted it had sent me coins, I wasn't able to repeat it).

What is the cause of this instability? Is it because there is currently no incentive for people to either maintain a node on the testnet, or mine on it?

Or is it because people are testing their devious net-splitting schemes on the testnet? In that case it might make sense to make two testnets: one completely unreliable for testing bitcoin itself, one semi-stable for merchants.

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
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May 26, 2011, 03:57:02 AM
 #5

I see what appear to be lengthy reorgs in testnet, with some transactions taking hundreds of blocks before they're reinserted into a valid block.

On that note, if you need a supply of testnet coins, I've got you covered. Cheesy

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theymos
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May 26, 2011, 03:58:10 AM
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Yeah, someone's making huge forks of the testnet chain.

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wumpus
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May 26, 2011, 04:03:25 AM
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Is this what happens when someone mines much faster than the network, and ignores all transactions and other people's blocks?

Error: Thanks, though it seems I generated some blocks again over the night, let's see if these stay

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
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May 26, 2011, 04:04:25 AM
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Is this what happens when someone mines much faster than the network, and ignores all transactions and other people's blocks?

Error: Thanks, though it seems I generated some blocks again over the night, let's see if these stay

Mine have thousands of confirmations. They aren't going anywhere. Cheesy

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Gavin Andresen
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May 26, 2011, 07:47:14 AM
 #9

On the other hand, a stable testnet is somewhat important for people that want to debug and test merchant sites.

This time, it took me about two days to generate any coins on the testnet, the coins the faucet sent me never arrived (and still, it insisted it had sent me coins, I wasn't able to repeat it).

For debugging your own sites, a testnet-in-a-box setup is nice and stable, completely under your control, and has a good supply of mature coins to debug with. See http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/testnet-in-a-box/

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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May 26, 2011, 07:56:19 AM
 #10

On the other hand, a stable testnet is somewhat important for people that want to debug and test merchant sites.

This time, it took me about two days to generate any coins on the testnet, the coins the faucet sent me never arrived (and still, it insisted it had sent me coins, I wasn't able to repeat it).

For debugging your own sites, a testnet-in-a-box setup is nice and stable, completely under your control, and has a good supply of mature coins to debug with. See http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/testnet-in-a-box/

Well, there went my market. Thanks a lot Tongue

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wumpus
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May 26, 2011, 03:52:08 PM
 #11

Thanks, that testnet-in-a-box works incredibly well.

I've given up on the public testnet, transactions are still getting lost even though I did a direct -addnode of the testnet faucet.

Bitcoin Core developer [PGP] Warning: For most, coin loss is a larger risk than coin theft. A disk can die any time. Regularly back up your wallet through FileBackup Wallet to an external storage or the (encrypted!) cloud. Use a separate offline wallet for storing larger amounts.
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May 29, 2011, 10:37:36 PM
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For debugging your own sites, a testnet-in-a-box setup is nice and stable, completely under your control, and has a good supply of mature coins to debug with. See http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/testnet-in-a-box/

My first post! I was looking for some information on the testnet, because it seems rather hard to connect to it. Your tool solves my current problem. Thanks alot!
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