I've gone over and over and over the transaction list on etherscan.io and the csv export and I can't make sense of the 0.384x Ether shown on etherscan.io, in MEW and on ethplorer.io, they all agree on the balance.

However, the transaction detail shown on etherscan.io indicates a total of 1.45 ETH in and 1.33x out plus 0.0278x ETH in fees out for a total of 1.367x out.

However tx hash 0x5add6627bc38ec7084b4c55edd61b3af712f3b598fc657c32047a70058f0e2bc for 0.1 ETH failed (out of gas) and tx hash 0x1e85f2195186fb09dff4abf79566b6efd468776061d88aa3819665c343601ae2 for 0.1 ETH also failed (unknown reasons).

So we have 1.45 transactions in - 1.367 transactions out (including fees) = 0.083 + 0.2 for two transactions that failed to go out. This yields a balance of approx ~0.283x. But this isn't the balance displayed in MEW, or etherscan.io or etherplorer.io - there we see ~0.3843x ETH and it agrees across all three sites.

However, ethplorer.io shows different figures for total in and out (Total In ~1.723x Total out ~1.339x) which does match up to the current balance shown across all three sites. But I cannot the supporting transaction details that yield the figures given by ethplorer.io. The transactions detail given on etherscan.io suggests a balance 0.10 less!

I did notice that on the "internal transactions" tab on etherscan.io there is a 0.10 transaction (tx hash 0x9aca88a62adb439fd737f43a6e8f3ddee27e124a9e4bb42f95f2a8db1198e5a4) but I don't understand what an "internal transaction" is, where this comes from, who sent it, what it's for, etc. It explains the discrepancy in the current spendable balance, but it does not appear to be something like a return of one of failed transactions because it doesn't match up with the time of either of the failed transactions. Furthermore, this still doesn't explain the discrepancy in total in and total out between etherscan.io and ethplorer.io.

I am super confused and I've already wasted over an hour trying to figure out what is going on here and why. Can anyone explain?

Is it possible that this "internal transaction" is one of the ICOs that were purchased in prior to that transaction retroactively rejected and returned the funds?

Regardless, why is this an "internal transaction" when it doesn't appear to be internal at all? What does that mean? And how do you track down who is doing this transaction and why?

Besides the internal transaction issue, why is there a discrpancy between total in and total out between etherscan.io and ethplorer.io?

Thanks a lot. So lost here. I thought I knew how to reconcile ETH transactions but apparently I don't have a clue.

1 Answer 1


An internal transaction (people will argue with the name—some call it a message) is when a smart contract does a ‘send’ or any of the various ‘call’ functions into an account. The smart contract itself either sends the money.

If your balance is lower than you think it should be, then that account must be a smart contract, and one of the functions on that smart contract must have sent money somewhere. If your balance is higher than you think it should be then some other smart contract (maybe a multi sig wallet) sent money into your account.

In neither case would you see those “internal” transactions listed on the list of regular transactions.

In other words, you cannot simply add up all the transactions that have your account as either ‘to’ or ‘from’. You must also account for both incoming and outgoing “internal” transactions. Because contracts can call other contracts, it can get quite complicated.

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