What is an Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO)?


What’s up, party people? Chris DeRose here,
Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation, and in this video I wanted to address the
question, “What is a UTXO?” So, let’s get started. A UTXO is an unspent transaction
output, and to know what that is, it helps to know a little bit about how bitcoin works. Bitcoin is a triple-entry accounting system.
When you own bitcoin, what you own are checks that are addressed to you. And when you spend
bitcoin, you write a check, and in that check you reference the old checks that you’ve received,
and allocate some portion of one or more of those to a recipient. So when I make a spend,
I create this transaction, and in this transaction, I reference the inputs, and the inputs are
prior receipts that I have, prior transaction IDs. And I write this check, and I denominate
some number of satoshis to an output that is another person, that’s that person’s public
key. And the output goes to that person when I’ve entered it into the ledger, and now that
person holds himself a check, and that check is useful for spending. These checks that have been unspent are, in
fact, UTXOs, they are unspent transaction outputs, and they’re used all over the place
in bitcoin, and they’re used all over the place in Counterparty as well. If you’re developing
on the Counterparty system, it’s particularly important to note that these UTXOs are in
part what is referenced in a Counterparty transaction. Counterparty data sits on top
of the bitcoin network and sits on top of the bitcoin transactions, and to compose a
Counterparty transaction, you need these UTXOs in order to write a check that would be entered
into the Counterparty ledger. So that’s the gist, that’s what UTXOs are.
They are, in some senses, the bitcoin that you actually own. These are the outputs from
previous transactions that have been made to you, that are ready for spending. They
are your bitcoin. A lot of people think that bitcoin is a computed value where you receive
it and it’s a number that you hold, and that’s not really true. What you have in bitcoin
is an address on the ledger and inputs or outputs, depending what side you’re on, into
that address. That’s it. If you like this video, subscribe
to my channel, check out some other answers I have, and if you want to ask me a question,
I’m available on Twitter, derosetech is my handle, and I’d love to have you around. Later,
party people!

17 thoughts on “What is an Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO)?

  1. Thanks for all your awesome videos! In a future video could you explain a bit about the concept of "No from address" found here: https://iwilcox.me.uk/2014/no-from-address
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  2. Hey Hi Chris,

    I am kinda stuck with some payments within blockcypher how to withdraw the stuck payments.. Need some help

  3. Can you help me get my unspent BTC back? I have 6 confirmations. But it is still showing on blockcypher as unspent. So how do I get it unstuck?

  4. Hi sir i have sent a btc from a jaxx wallet to other jaxx wallet yesterday the amount is deducted from my wallet but its showing unspent on blockcypher but 133 confirmations has been done on blockcypher..please kindly help to solve my problem thank you

  5. Hello sir, my name is Mukesh.
    Sir please solve my problem.
    Sir, I transfer .01 btc from my account to another account in Dec 2017 but still I can't receive it. When I checked my transaction on block chain it show unspent. Sir please help me to redeem my btc..
    I am very thankful to you…

  6. ASAP HELP please. I have exactly this problem. To get my btu it took around 100 confirmation and 2 days so now they are in my wallet but I cannot use them bc they are unspent. how to get my coins to use? I really really need help so bad. it has been 3 days. thank you.

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