Recently I have heard about zero balance accounts with a nonce of zero appearing on the blockchain.

My understanding is that any account that has been used in a transaction must have a nonce greater than zero. This would include zero balance addresses that have received funds and were later emptied.

How can accounts with a nonce of zero appear on the blockchain?

  • 1
    The question is accurate but for clarity, an account's nonce is only incremented when it originates a transaction. When the account is a receiver, its nonce doesn't change.
    – eth
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 8:19

2 Answers 2


When you send a zero value transaction to an account that does not exist. The same works for zero value creates (both through transactions and the CREATE opcode) as well as CALLing in to an account that does not exist.

This is a mistake, a flaw in the protocol. One we want to fix in the next upcoming hardfork.

  • 2
    Would you be able to expound or shed more light about the flaw or flaws and challenges here? Thanks.
    – eth
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 7:55

Ok, a few years ago I tried to test etherscan. I got the feeling diricly that was to stressad for me. I called the helpdesk to get out.The answer was that it wasn't fair to the others! So I cast good money after bad. After a while I thrown my Etherium for grab. When I looked at my taxes I found my etherscan again.They typed in a flash that they would give me a good loan. Unfortunable I can't find my name and password. So can a wallet go below zero. Best regards Tomas

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.