Alert new Bitcoin observer "OROBTC" noted a large amount of money (gross flow, not net) pass by the blockchain recently:
304517 -- A BIG Block! (Read 1134 times)
Now when a guy like me sees such a huge number as $126 million + cross the wires, I take notice. So I clickly quicked the link at blockchain.info (they scroll near-real-time transactions on the blockchain), I saw some nice information. Remember, all information on the Blockchain is PUBLIC, although as I mentioned in my "Part Seven" article (a couple fo articles below), there are ways to cover your tracks reasonably well.
Just for perspective, here is a screen shot of blockchain.info's home page, showing latest Blocks, with gross amounts paid out (as always, *click* on any image for a better view, note that my anti-virus program took the opportunity to advertise itself (bottom right), LOL...):
The "Total Sent" column shows a bit over $30,000,000 (total) "sent" from the last six Blocks (math problems solved almost exclusively by the mining pools, note how BIG GHash.IO solved four of the last six). Miners also make money from transactions (like when I bought my 0.25 oz Gold Eagle for BTC, I paid by Bitcoin, and it went via BTC Guild, another large mining pool, that transaction for some $365 cost me about $0.12 -- 12 cents!) as well as winning the 25 BTC.
Note the Block numbers ordered chronologically in the left column in the above image, the last Block awarded was number 304833. Blocks are awarded about every 10 minutes on the average, so the above image is fairy typical. Typically, if a long time goes by without a "win", the amount awarded is larger. Note that 304832 was for a gross of over $10,000,000 (to mighty GHash.IO) because there was a relatively long 17 minute gap between "wins". GHash.IO also processes a lot of transactions, so those 10-cent fees can add up,,, smile.
But, I wanted to explore the BIG Block: 304517! Here is some information I was able to glean from blockchain.info itself as well as comments from "Bitcoin Insider" (, "B.I.", who, alas, informed me that these eye-popping amounts "sent" are not net amounts, more below. Here is the info from Block 304517 (enter that into the Search feature at blochchain.info, definitely *click* the next two to see yummy details):
Hmm, another one of those reported form the Gulf of Guinea (0 degrees Lat., 0 degrees Long.). There is a lot of interesting "inside baseball" information there, note the hash info at upper right, recall that miners have to "solve a math problem that shows they figured out the solution with an initial has of some 14 zeros..., that ought to give anyone an idea of why it is pools of thousands of ASIC computers that solve most of these).
Note, I scrolled down that page a bit for the below information too. The first group is the dollar value of the 25 BTC "created" when the block was solved, this went to BTC Guild, if I understand correctly, it was only some $16,400 and change). The other amounts below show transactions and fees. Note that all of this is not very clear to an outsider (like me).
Below the 25 BTC award is the amount transferred that made the blow so big: almost $116,000,000! You can see that a bit over $114,000,000 went to one wallet, and a bit over $1,000,000 to another. Clicking on the "hash code" of this transaction yielded:
There are two interesting things to note (to a beginner!):
1) Only $1,304,000 was actually sent ("net") here
2) The transaction fees were ZERO! Ask your bank if they will transfer THAT much for free!
Because so much of this is confusing for a beginner, I asked the help of B.I. for some explanation of what I was seeing. Here is part of his response (in blue):
Only about 2 1/2 Million dollars was actually transferred to other wallets. If you examine the transactions there appear to be consolidated wallets with extremely large balances sending small round number outputs to other wallets. This is just like what I discussed with you last week. My personal wallet was consolidated into a single address when I made a new wallet and transferred a variety of funds from years of activity.
OK, what he is saying here is that wallet balances with large balances "seem" to send out large amounts (but the total net received by all the other wallets in this block was some two and a half million dollars), but many Bitcoin users often see these kinds of numbers at their own transactions (as have I: WHAT was going on with the amount of BTC I had that I did NOT send in a transaction?!?!).
OK, I sort of understand what he has been writing me, but one day I am going to have to ask him for a complete course in "Bitcoin Transaction Interpretation"...
Looking into lucky recipient 1Drt3c8pSdrkyjuBiwVcSSixZwQtMZ3Tew , we can note that 1Drt... was involved in a large number of transactions:, the below just shows the latest part of MANY others, it appears that this may be a part of a set of transactions between BTC Guild and an exchange (more in just a moment):
bitcointalk.org members "Phinnaeus Gage" and "bryant.coleman" have comments that lead one to suspect that perhaps that 1Drt... wallet may belong to one or other of the exchanges (bitstamp maybe?), but I was unable to understand their comments, I am not "there" yet... (see the comments No. 31 and 32 from them at the bitcointalk.org link near the top of my article, these two people are senior members of the forum and appear to know a lot, why it would not surprise me to see "OROBTC" thank them very soon with a link to here...!