A bitcoin that has never been spent.
A virgin Bitcoin is a Bitcoin that has never been spent. This Bitcoin comes directly from a miner
and has no transaction history. Virgin Bitcoins have been a topic of great discussion in the Bitcoin community but are difficult to acquire in practice.
A virgin Bitcoin comes directly from a miner that has won the block reward
. It can thus only be acquired in a P2P trading
manner. Some miners have tried to advertise their Bitcoin as virgin Bitcoin to attract buyers and potentially sell Bitcoin at a premium. But no market has emerged for virgin Bitcoins because such markets are difficult to establish.
is contemporarily done by mining pools
, which limit the variance of finding new blocks on the blockchain. Generally speaking, mining pools add a few steps to the mining process, which makes the delivery of virgin Bitcoins difficult to realize.
If a large miner decided to exit a mining pool and mine alone, this would increase the variance of winning the block reward. This would make miner income less predictable. Furthermore, miners are not only compensated with the block reward but also with transaction fees
, which contradicts the concept of selling virgin Bitcoins.
If there was a market for virgin Bitcoins, each coin transfer would raise the risk level for individual coins. Miners would face the problem of transferring their virgin Bitcoins to buyers, and the market would struggle to find a price premium for individual coin transfers.
Unspent transaction outputs (UTXO
) are outputs of a blockchain
transaction that has not been used as input in a new transaction. Bitcoins have no persistence, unlike bills that are imprinted with serial codes. Bitcoins are more akin to bars of gold that are melted down and re-formed with each transfer. Therefore, virgin Bitcoins lose their identity once they are transferred since they lose their main attribute when they start circulating. Once a virgin Bitcoin becomes part of a Bitcoin UTXO, it is part of the other quantity of Bitcoins that cannot be differentiated.