I am running geth --rpc on a local machine and have sent ether back and forth between local and non-local accounts successfully. Now I am wondering what happens if I shut down my target machine and send ether to a local account on that shut down machine?

If I bring the machine back up, start geth --rpc back up, when it syncs the blockchain does my local account get updated with the money that was sent?

  • The account balance will be updated once the machine imports all the latest blocks.
    – galahad
    Sep 8, 2016 at 20:45
  • Perfect, I figured it must do that, otherwise the whole system would fall apart, but could not figure out what to google to figure that out. Thanks!
    – warmbeach
    Sep 8, 2016 at 20:47
  • Related: ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/2273/…
    – eth
    Sep 9, 2016 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


A node never has to "receive" a balance. In fact, you can send currency to a random address, and that account would then have a positive balance.

The blockchain's state, including all balances, is stored in its entirety on every full node.Thus, every other node records the transaction, even if yours does not. When your node comes back online, it will download the current state from other nodes on the network, and once it is caught up, your balance will appear correctly.


Receiving ether is like receiving email: you don't need to be "on" to receive.

One of the main differences is that everyone in the network has a copy of everything that's happened (all transactions, which combined form the state). There's no "company" that can lose what you received, control or prevent you from accessing it, or tamper with it.

@Tjaden explained well technically.

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