How do we distinguish between BTC and BCH in an address?

1

Bitcoin.com has recently published an article about the DOJ seizure of Silk Road-related funds. The article states:

From 1HQ3, 101 BTC were sent to BTC-e, the defunct Russian exchange. About 69,370 BTC remained in 1HQ3 and were subsequently seized by the government. The address also contains approximately 69,370 BCH, BTG, and BSV prior to the government’s seizure.

What does this "the address also contains" really mean?

This sounds like the address contains 69,370 BTC + 69,370 BCH + 69,370 BTG + 69,370 BSV, and I don't think that is what they've meant. Do they only mean that the transactions are committed before BCH, BTG, and BSV forks happened?

foki

Posted 2020-12-02T23:30:23.807

Reputation: 137

Answers

1

Yes, since the amounts match across all four networks, it seems clear that most transactions must have happened before the forks—otherwise the amounts should diverge with the differing economic activity of various coins. In fact, it looks like most of the bitcoins on 1HQ3 were sent there in April 2013.

When BCH and BTG spun off from Bitcoin, the new networks bootstrapped with Bitcoin's UTXO set at the corresponding fork heights. Since transactions are incompatible between the networks, BTC, BCH, and BTG transaction activity has been completely independent from that point on. On the other hand, BSV spun off with a compatible transaction format from BCH, so there are some transactions replayed between the two networks, still, most transactions are unique to either network.

Therefore, you would track the funds on each network independently. As Prayank suggested, Blockchair has a shared search for a number of networks, so you can find information for BTC, BCH, and BSV via one search for address 1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx. Blockchair does not serve data on BTG or most of the other 40+ Bitcoin forks that spun off from Bitcoin since 2017, so you would have to find block explorers specific to those networks for further research, but all of them should also have the same balance.

Murch

Posted 2020-12-02T23:30:23.807

Reputation: 51 063

1

How do we distinguish between BTC and BCH in an address?

By looking at the post-fork BTC and BCH blockchain transaction-journals independently.

What does this "the address also contains" really mean?

They are saying that in both the BTC and BCH blockchain transaction-journals there were unspent transaction outputs associated with an address that existed in both.

Do they only mean that the transactions are committed before BCH, BTG, and BSV forks happened?

That seems most likely.

Incidentally, since many addresses are created deterministically, I suspect it is possible that re-use of the same keys in both BTC and BCH wallets would cause either to generate the same sequence of addresses post-fork. I am not familiar with BCH and don't know if they continued to use the same HD algorithm, it seems possible.

RedGrittyBrick

Posted 2020-12-02T23:30:23.807

Reputation: 9 949

The first sentence is a great succinct answer to the main question, but the funds were actually all associated with the same address and sent there in 2013. :) – Murch – 2021-01-02T13:40:45.087

@Murch: Thanks for the correction. Answer updated accordingly. – RedGrittyBrick – 2021-01-02T14:07:14.067

-1

You will find BCH and BSV transaction details associated with that address here: https://blockchair.com/search?q=1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx

Convert the address for BTG here: https://blog.ledger.com/btg-convert/

Find BTG transaction details for the address here: https://explorer.bitcoingold.org/insight/address/GaExgvNdfik7LFqCDRwYQej6kFT7Fo2KFX

  1. Lead Dev of https://blockchair.com is regularly involved in spreading misinformation about bitcoin on different platforms including Twitter, Reddit etc.

  2. I agree with sipa and have similar thoughts about some of these forks:

I consider these forks to be highly unethical at best and many are probably outright scams. It benefits few traders and creators. Also questions related to forks are offtopic on Bitcoin SE.

Prayank

Posted 2020-12-02T23:30:23.807

Reputation: 2 423

Thanks for the resources. However, my question has nothing to do with these forks in particular but rather forking as the concept in Bitcoin. Thus my question: "do they only mean that the transactions are committed before BTH, BTG, and BSV forks happened?" That being said, it is not clear to what extent this answers my question. – foki – 2020-12-03T03:04:25.063

This answer would benefit from focusing more on explaining the answer to the question and including fewer unrelated allegations and opinion statements. – Murch – 2021-01-02T13:43:19.887