Inputs – Bitcoin’s “Change”

The blockchain is a big file
that keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions ever made. So if you own some Bitcoins, all it means is that the blockchain has references to transactions that
were made to your Bitcoin address. The term for these references is “Inputs”. Now let’s say you enter a store
to buy a watch for 1 Bitcoin. Instead of taking out
actual cash from your pocket and paying for something you just tell the seller, “Here are the references
that I have this money” or “here are my inputs”. What you mean is, here are previous transactions sent to me
that add up to 1 Bitcoin or more. This is called an output, so each output is compiled
out of 1 or more previous inputs. Once you use an input to
pay for something it is considered “spent” and you can’t use it again
for other outputs. Bitcoin rules state that
you can’t use just a part of an input. So if for example I wanted to
send the seller 1 Bitcoin and the only input or reference I have is from someone who previously
sent me 1.5 Bitcoins, I will have to use all of this input and return the “change” back to
my original address as a new input. So I will use my 1.5 Bitcoins input, pay 1 Bitcoin to the seller, pay a miner’s fee and return the rest
to my original address. Now for a real live example: If you examine the inputs closely you will see that the output consists of
an input of 0.142 Bitcoins. 0.005 Bitcoins were sent to someone else, a miner’s fee of 0.0001 Bitcoins
was deducted and the rest of the money was sent
back to the original address. That’s why you’ll see some additional coins
sent with your transactions. These coins will be sent
back to your change address which you can configure manually
inside your wallet. If you want to inquire more
on specific inputs you can enable
“advanced” mode in Blockchain, track inputs and see which inputs
have been spent or not. For more information
and videos about Bitcoin, visit All the information you need
to get started with Bitcoin today.

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