Another coin bites the dust: An analysis of dust in UTXO-based cryptocurrencies

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11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 The Authors. Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) are the internal mechanism used in many cryptocurrencies to represent coins. Such representation has some clear benefits, but also entails some complexities that, if not properly handled, may leave the system in an inefficient state. Specifically, inefficiencies arise when wallets (the software responsible for transferring coins between parties) do not manage UTXOs properly when performing payments. In this paper, we study three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, by analysing the state of their UTXO sets, that is, the status of their sets of spendable coins. These three cryptocurrencies are the top-3 UTXO-based cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Our analysis shows that the usage of each cryptocurrency presents some differences, and led to different results. Furthermore, it also points out that the management of the transactions has not always been performed efficiently and therefore, the current state of the UTXO sets is far from ideal.
Original languageEnglish
Article number180817
JournalRoyal Society open science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Wallets


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