Why does transaction activity show on the blockchain for my Bitcoin address at my hosted (shared) E-Wallet service?


I have an online wallet at localbitcoins.com (address 12pHFR5yv2KGqck5N8teb5MgoRtzAgLRn2).

I made three transfers to it, for a total of 0.5 BTC + 0.5 BTC + 0.3031 BTC = 1.3031 BTC.

Blockchain.info did show my address receiving coins. However, it is showing my address sending coins to several addresses after receiving them https://blockchain.info/address/12pHFR5yv2KGqck5N8teb5MgoRtzAgLRn2:

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Is someone using my online wallet at localbitcoins.com to withdraw money?


Posted 2013-08-10T06:08:29.383

Reputation: 2 095

Does localbitcoins or wherever you sent the coins from use a mixing (anonymizer) service or shared-send ? You'd generally see something like that in that scenario. – Neil Neyman – 2013-08-12T04:10:38.687

@NeilNeyman, not sure about their implementation. I sent from MtGox to LocalBitcoins. – Pacerier – 2013-08-13T08:28:40.473



You do not have a Bitcoin wallet at LocalBitcoins. Instead you have only a ledger account with their hosted (shared) Bitcoin E-Wallet.

What this means is that you cannot use the blockchain to track your balance. You can only use it to determine how many confirmations your transfer (deposit) has received.

The E-Wallet provider simply credits your account when they see a confirmed deposit transaction (e.g., 6 block confirmations) to a Bitcoin address associated with your E-Wallet account.

To know your balance, you will need to login to your E-Wallet account on LocalBitcoins. That will show you your balance. The account details will show deposits, withdrawals, purchases and sales.

Stephen Gornick

Posted 2013-08-10T06:08:29.383

Reputation: 26 454


Probably not. Most online wallets don't hold your bitcoins against the receiving address for your wallet; instead they transfer them to a central wallet and keep a record of your balance.

When you want to spend from your wallet, they make a transaction from their centralised wallet to your desired sending address, and adjust your balance accordingly.

This method of providing an online wallet has the advantage that they can reduce transaction fees (they can spend their oldest bitcoins first, and consolidate appropriately sized inputs for your desired transaction output), but also some disadvantages such as that you don't get to hold the private key for your receiving address (and thus can't retrieve your bitcoins without them).

Highly Irregular

Posted 2013-08-10T06:08:29.383

Reputation: 10 692

Hmm, why does blockchain.info sometime show multiple addresses in a single transaction to a single address as in https://blockchain.info/address/1LbAh4zeHSt68zzdoqH6J9EbctQc1Q3aVS showing 4 addresses sending 0.3 coins to an address. What does it mean?

– Pacerier – 2013-08-10T08:11:46.643

I'm not sure; perhaps this could be asked as a separate question? – Highly Irregular – 2013-08-10T09:33:43.603

1@Pacerier Bitcoin transactions pull in funds from one or more sources and pay out to one or more sources. – David Schwartz – 2013-08-11T00:32:58.180

@DavidSchwartz, If that's the case, then wouldn't the balance not be tallied? – Pacerier – 2013-08-11T05:36:48.397

@Pacerier I don't know what balance you're talking about or what you mean by "tallied". – David Schwartz – 2013-08-11T05:37:50.643

@DavidSchwartz, If I want to send from A to B and money goes to B from A and C.... wouldn't that means C is losing money? – Pacerier – 2013-08-11T05:39:43.000

@Pacerier I don't know what A, B, and C are here. Are they people? Addresses? Accounts? Perhaps you're incorrectly assuming a one-to-one relationship between accounts and addresses? Generally, addresses are managed as a pool shared by all accounts. – David Schwartz – 2013-08-11T06:49:38.643