First question and, as such, I hope it is not too trivial. I have set up an account (0xc5e71494fa80c9745a0d395285928a1c1ddbf9ff) and sent a tiny amount of ether from an exchange to this wallet. This worked fine.

Next, I have done 2 test transactions from this wallet with even smaller amounts (0.0001ETH? can't remember) and geth console.

Although the transactions look fine, the amount transferred is 0. Even the balance of the receiver wallet (I use getBalance[portfolio id]) is 0.

I though that was a roundoff+display effect so tried to convert the amount to wei, but even in wei, the amount is 0 wei. However, ETH in the original wallet (0xc5e7...) have gone missing...

Can someone help me out with this mistery? >


1 Answer 1


If you look at your account in a block explorer (e.g. etherchain), you'll see two outgoing transactions. The Ether amount sent out from both of these is zero (it seems you haven't specified any value at all).

So why did your balance go down? Well, these are the transaction costs associated with your transactions. Every transaction in Ethereum has a base cost of 21000 gas (per the protocol specs), which are paid to the miners to get the transaction included into the block. The current minimum price miners accept it 20 gwei / gas, so multiplying that with 21000 will lead to a 0.00042 Ether transaction fee, as reported by the explorer too.

Another question you might have is why did the transaction even go through if you specified a 0 value transfer. The answer to that is because the recipient may have been a contract that runs some program, which does not require value to be sent to it. The Ethereum nodes/miners do not know whether your transaction is valid or invalid beforehand, only by running it; however if they had to run it,they arguable earned their fees for it :)

  • Thank you Peter. However, this is what I did: > sender = web3.eth.accounts[0] "0xc5e71494fa80c9745a0d395285928a1c1ddbf9ff" > receiver = web3.eth.accounts[1] "0x8c1e5bf01f67e415d09bc2e7079293125dac1ddd" > var amount = web3.toWei("0.005", "ether") undefined > amount "5000000000000000" > eth.sendTransaction({from: sender, to: receiver, amount: amount})
    – asure
    Mar 10, 2016 at 20:12

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