Crypto Terminology

Crypto Terminology


Glossary of Terms


Bags

Cryptoassets being held, generally as longer-term plays; sometimes used self-deprecatingly for soft or losing positions one should close, but can’t for whatever reason. “Too bad none of my alt bags saw the moon that I did today. #cryptoeclipse”

Bitcoin Maximalists

The truest believers in bitcoin’s original mission and design, often paired with a disdain for altcoins.

Block

Blocks are found in the Bitcoin block chain. Blocks connect all transactions together.

Transactions are combined into single blocks and are verified every ten minutes through mining.

Each subsequent block strengthens the verification of the previous blocks, making it impossible to double spend bitcoin transactions (see double spend below).

BIP

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal or BIP, is a technical design document providing information to the bitcoin community, or describing a new feature for bitcoin or its processes or environment which affect the Bitcoin protocol.

New features, suggestions, and design changes to the protocol should be submitted as a BIP.

The BIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

Black Swans

A black swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict.

Black swan events are typically random and unexpected.

The term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader.

Block Chain

The Bitcoin block chain is a public record of all Bitcoin transactions. You might also hear the term used as a “public ledger”.

The block chain shows every single record of bitcoin transactions in order, dating back to the very first one.

The entire block chain can be downloaded and openly reviewed by anyone, or you can use a block explorer to review the block chain online.

Block Height

The block height is just the number of blocks connected together in the block chain. Height 0 for example refers to the very first block, called the “genesis block”.

Block Reward

When a block is successfully mined on the bitcoin network, there is a block reward that helps incentivize miners to secure the network.

The block reward is part of a “coinbase” transaction which may also include transaction fees.

The block rewards halves roughly every four years; see also “halving”.

BTFD | #BTFD

“Buy the Fucking Dip” Advice to other traders to pick up a coin that’s presumably hit its bottom.

“$GNT Golem making moves. Underpriced @ 7.5K If U are buying GNT under 10K still a good price 3 X LETS GO $ETH #CRYPTO #trading #BTFD”

Change

Let’s say you are spending $9.90 in your local supermarket, and you give the cashier $10.00. You will get back .10 cents in change.

The same logic applies to bitcoin transactions.

Bitcoin transactions are made up of inputs and outputs.

When you send bitcoins, you can only send them in a whole “output”.

The change is then sent back to the sender.

Cold Storage

The term cold storage is a general term for different ways of securing cryptocurrency offline (disconnected from the internet).

This would be the opposite of a hot wallet or hosted wallet, which is connected to the web for day-to-day transactions.

The purpose of using cold storage is to minimize the chances of your bitcoins being stolen from a malicious hacker and is commonly used for larger sums of bitcoins.

Cold Wallet and Hot Wallet

Cold storage is an offline wallet provided for storing cryptocurrency.

With cold storage, the digital wallet is stored on a platform that is not connected to the internet, thereby, protecting the wallet from unauthorized access, cyber hacks, and other vulnerabilities that a system connected to the internet is susceptible to.

Confirmation

A confirmation means that the bitcoin transaction has been verified by the network, through the process known as mining.

Once a transaction is confirmed, it cannot be reversed or double spent.

Transactions are included in blocks.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is the broad name for digital currencies that use blockchain technology to work on a peer-to-peer basis.

Cryptocurrencies don’t need a bank to carry out transactions between individuals.

The nature of the blockchain means that individuals can transact with each other, even if they don’t trust each other.

The cryptocurrency network keeps track of all the transactions and ensures that no one tries to renege on a transaction.

Cryptocurrency 2.0

Also known as a decentralized app,(Dapp) a cryptocurrency 2.0 project uses the blockchain for something other than simply creating and sending money.

They typically involve decentralized versions of online services that were previously operated by a trusted third party.

Cryptography

Cryptography is used in multiple places to provide security for the Bitcoin network.

Cryptography, which is essentially mathematical and computer science algorithms used to encrypt and decrypt information, is used in bitcoin addresses, hash functions, and the block chain.

Cypherpunk

1. A person with an interest in encryption and privacy, especially one who uses encrypted email.

2. Cypherpunk, a term that appeared in Eric Hughes’ “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto” in 1993, combines the ideas of cyberpunk, the spirit of individualism in cyberspace, with the use of strong  encryption ( ciphertext is encrypted text) to preserve privacy.

Cypherpunk advocates believe that the use of strong encryption algorithms will enable individuals to have safely private transactions.

They oppose any kind of government regulation of cryptography.

They admit the likelihood that criminals and terrorists will exploit the use of strong encryption systems, but accept the risk as the price to be paid for the individual’s right to privacy.

Dark Web

The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.

The Dark Web poses new and formidable challenges for law enforcement agencies around the world.

Decentralized

Having a decentralized bitcoin network is a critical aspect.

The network is “decentralized”, meaning that it’s void of a centralized company or entity that governs the network.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer protocol, where all users within the network work and communicate directly with each other, instead of having their funds handled by a middleman, such as a bank or credit card company.

Difficulty

Difficulty is directly related to Bitcoin mining (see mining below), and how hard it is to verify blocks in the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin adjusts the mining difficulty of verifying blocks every 2016 blocks.

Difficulty is automatically adjusted to keep block verification times at ten minutes.

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is an altcoin that first started as a joke in late 2013. Dogecoin, which features a Japanese fighting dog as its mascot, gained a broad international following and quickly grew to have a multi-million dollar market capitalization.

Double Spend

If someone tries to send a bitcoin transaction to two different recipients at the same time, this is double spending. Once a bitcoin transaction is confirmed, it makes it nearly impossible to double spend it. The more confirmations that a transaction has, the harder it is to double spend the bitcoins.

DYOR | #DYOR

“Do Your Own Research.” The trader’s caveat that advice shouldn’t be taken at face value.

“$BCY has an appealing risk/reward here. Could take a few months to play out, however, and will require patience. #DYOR”

Exit Scam

Traditionally a term for darknet markets and vendors that, after building up a good reputation, accumulate bitcoins and disappear; exit scams are also feared by ICO participants who worry that, once they’ve raised hundreds of millions in hard-to-trace money, the developers will take the money and run.

Fiat

Government-issued money.

Full Node

A full node is when you download the entire block chain using a bitcoin client, and you relay, validate, and secure the data within the block chain.

The data is bitcoin transactions and blocks, which is validated across the entire network of users.

FOMO | #FOMO

“Fear of Missing Out.” When a coin starts to moon, dumb money rushes in. “$LGD on a TEAR right now!!! It has major highs right now! Some major #FOMO going on!!! Sell while it’s high. It WILL drop before fight!!!”

FUD

“Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.”

Another non-crypto term that describes attempts to scare weak-handed coin-holders into selling their positions, often with rumors of exit scams or hacks; the cheap, dumped coins are then picked up by the FUD-ers.

Fungibility

Fungibility is a good or asset’s interchangeability with other individual goods or assets of the same type.

Assets possessing this fungibility property simplify the exchange and trade processes, as interchangeability assumes everyone values all goods of that class the same.

HODL

HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!

The intentionally misspelled word hodl has its roots in a December 2013 post on the Bitcoin Talk forum, “I AM HODLING”; when the author, GameKyuubi, couldn’t be bothered to fix his typo, the community instantly turned it into a verb: to hodl.


Along with other terms, hodl is an effective litmus test for sussing out newcomers, carpetbaggers, and tourists.

Halving

Bitcoins have a finite supply, which makes them scarce.

The total amount that will ever be issued is 21 million.

The number of bitcoins generated per block is decreased 50% every 210,000 blocks,roughtly four years.

This is called “halving.”

The final halving will take place in the year 2140.

Hash

A cryptographic hash is a mathematical function that takes a file and produces a relative shortcode that can be used to identify that file.

A hash has a couple of key properties:

• It is unique. 

Only a particular file can produce a particular hash, and two different files will never produce the same hash.

It cannot be reversed.

You can’t work out what a file was by looking at its hash.

Hashing is used to prove that a set of data has not been tampered with.

It is what makes bitcoin mining possible.

Hash Rate

The hash rate is how the Bitcoin mining network processing power is measured.

In order for miners to confirm transactions and secure the block chain, the hardware they use must perform intensive computational operations which is output in hashes per second.

Hash Converter

Use an online hash converter, such as https://hash.online-convert.com and enter the text you want to convert.

Then, try changing just a letter in the input text to see how the resulting hash varies significantly

Hard Fork

A hard fork is when a single cryptocurrency splits in two.

It occurs when a cryptocurrency’s existing code is changed, resulting in both an old and new version.

Meanwhile a soft fork is essentially the same thing, but the idea is that only one blockchain (and thus one coin) will remain valid as users adopt the update.

So both fork types create a split, but a hard fork is meant to create two blockchain/coins and a soft fork is meant to result in one.

Segwit was a soft fork, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and Segwit2x are all hard forks.

Immutability

In object-oriented and functional programming, an immutable object (unchangeable object) is an object whose state cannot be modified after it is created.

This is in contrast to a mutable object (changeable object), which can be modified after it is created.

Lambo | #Lambo

A running joke among traders, you’re cryptorich when you can buy a Lamborghini; though absurd, it’s not unheard of — when Alexandre Cazes, the suspected founder of a major darknet marketplace, was found hanged in his Bangkok jail cell, Thai media reported that he owned four Lamborghinis.

Mining

Bitcoin mining is the process of using computer hardware to do mathematical calculations for the Bitcoin network in order to confirm transactions.

Miners collect transaction fees for the transactions they confirm and are awarded bitcoins for each block they verify.

Moon | #Moon

A rapid price increase.

Peer-to-Peer

Typically, online applications are provided by a central party that organizes all the transactions.

Your bank runs its own computers, and all the customers log into the bank’s computer to handle their transactions.

If Bob wants to send money to Alice, he asks the bank to do it, and the bank controls everything.

In a peer-to-peer arrangement, technology cuts out the middleman, meaning that people deal directly with each other.

Bob would send the money directly to Alice, and there wouldn’t be any bank involved at all.

Pool

As part of bitcoin mining, mining “pools” are a network of miners that work together to mine a block, then split the block reward among the pool miners.

Mining pools are a good way for miners to combine their resources to increase the probability of mining a block, and also contribute to the overall health and decentralization of the bitcoin network.

Private Key

A private key is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet.

Think of a private key like a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.

Proof of Work

Proof of work refers to the hash of a block header (blocks of bitcoin transactions).

A block is considered valid only if its hash is lower than the current target.

Each block refers to a previous block adding to previous proofs of work, which forms a chain of blocks, known as a block chain.

Once a chain is formed, it confirms all previous Bitcoin transactions and secures the network.

Pump

A rapid price increase believed to be the result of market manipulation, a.k.a. pump and dump.

Public Address

A public bitcoin address is cryptographic hash of a public key.

A public address typically starts with the number “1.”

Think of a public address like an email address.

It can be published anywhere and bitcoins can be sent to it, just like an email can be sent to an email address.

Private Key

A private key is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet.

Think of a private key like a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.

Rekt | #Rekt

Meaning “wrecked”.

“I never sell because of #FUD, and I never buy because of #FOMO.

That’s the easiest way to get #Rekt

Sats

Satoshis, currently the smallest unit of a single bitcoin, useful for tracking coin prices. “At the rate $XRP’s moving, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 10K sats by the end of the day.”

Security Tokens

A security token (sometimes called an authentication token) is a small hardware device that the owner carries to authorize access to a network service.

The device may be in the form of a smart card or may be embedded in a commonly used object such as a key fob.

Shitcoins

Pejorative term for altcoins, especially low-cap coins, often affectionately used by shitcoin hodlers.

SEGWIT

SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions.

When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain.

Transaction

A transaction is when data is sent to and from one bitcoin address to another.

Just like financial transactions where you send money from one person to another, in bitcoin you do the same thing by sending data (bitcoins) to each other.

Bitcoins have value because it’s based on the properties of mathematics, rather than relying on physical properties (like gold and silver) or trust in central authorities, like fiat currencies.

Wallet

Just like with paper dollars you hold in your physical wallet, a bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet where you can store, send, and receive bitcoins securely.

There are many varieties of wallets available, whether you’re looking for a web or mobile solution.

Ideally, a bitcoin wallet will give you access to your public and private keys.

This means that only you have rightful access to spend these bitcoins, whenever you choose to.

Whale

Anyone who owns 5 percent of any given coin, often used as a boogeyman to explain unwanted price movements.

“Nice support $NEO. Clear whale manipulation.”


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Bitcoin Halving

Bitcoin Halving

What Is a Bitcoin Halving?

Bitcoin’s most recent halving occurred on May 11, 2020. To explain what a Bitcoin halving is, we must first explain a bit about how the Bitcoin network operates.

Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain, basically consists of a collection of computers (or nodes) that run Bitcoin’s software and contain a partial or complete history of transactions occurring on its network.

Each full node, or a node containing the entire history of transactions on Bitcoin, is responsible for approving or rejecting a transaction in Bitcoin’s network.

To do that, the node conducts a series of checks to ensure that the transaction is valid. These include ensuring that the transaction contains the correct validation parameters, such as nonces, and does not exceed the required length.

A transaction occurs only after all the parties operating in Bitcoin’s network approve it within the block on which the transaction exists. After approval, the transaction is appended to the existing blockchain and broadcast to other nodes.

The blockchain serves as a pseudonymous record of transactions (i.e., its contents are visible to everyone, but it is difficult to identify transacting parties in the network). This is because the blockchain assigns encrypted addresses to each transacting party in the network. That said, even those who do not participate in the network as a node or miner can view these transactions taking place live by looking at block explorers.

More computers (or nodes) added to the blockchain increase its stability and security.

There are currently 12,035 nodes estimated to be running Bitcoin’s code. Though anyone can participate in Bitcoin’s network as a node, as long as they have enough storage to download the entire blockchain and its history of transactions, not all of them are miners.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A Bitcoin halving event is when the reward for mining bitcoin transactions is cut in half.
  • This event also cuts in half Bitcoin’s inflation rate and the rate at which new bitcoins enter circulation.
  • Both previous halvings have correlated with intense boom and bust cycles that have ended with higher prices than prior to the event.
  • Bitcoin last halved on May 11, 2020, around 3 p.m. EST, resulting in a block reward of 6.25 BTC.

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining is the process by which people use their computers to participate in Bitcoin’s blockchain network as a transaction processor and validator.

Bitcoin uses a system called proof of work (PoW). This means that miners must prove they have put forth effort in processing transactions to be rewarded. This effort includes the time and energy it takes to run the computer hardware and solve complex equations.

Faster computers with certain types of hardware yield larger block rewards and some companies have designed computer chips specifically built for mining. These computers are tasked with processing Bitcoin transactions, and they are rewarded for doing so.

The term mining is not used in a literal sense but as a reference to the way precious metals are gathered.

Bitcoin miners solve mathematical problems and confirm the legitimacy of a transaction. They then add these transactions to a block and create chains of these blocks of transactions, forming the blockchain.

When a block is filled up with transactions, the miners that processed and confirmed the transactions within the block are rewarded with bitcoins.

Transactions of greater monetary value require more confirmations to ensure security. This process is called mining because the work performed to get new bitcoins out of the code is the digital equivalent to the physical work done to pull gold out of the Earth.

El Salvador made Bitcoin legal tender on June 9, 2021. It is the first country to do so. The cryptocurrency can be used for any transaction where the business can accept it. The U.S. dollar continues to be El Salvador’s primary currency.

Bitcoin Halving

After every 210,000 blocks mined, or roughly every four years, the block reward given to Bitcoin miners for processing transactions is cut in half.

This cuts in half the rate at which new bitcoins are released into circulation. This is Bitcoin’s way of using a synthetic form of inflation that halves every four years until all bitcoins are released into circulation.

This system will continue until around the year 2140.

At that point, miners will be rewarded with fees for processing transactions, which network users will pay. These fees ensure that miners still have the incentive to mine and keep the network going. The idea is that competition for these fees will cause them to remain low after the halvings are finished.

The halving is significant because it marks another drop in the rate of new Bitcoins being produced as it approaches its finite supply: the total maximum supply of bitcoins is 21 million. As of October 2021, there are about 18.85 million bitcoins already in circulation, leaving just around 2.15 million left to be released via mining rewards.

In 2009, the reward for each block in the chain mined was 50 bitcoins. After the first halving, it was 25, and then 12.5, and then it became 6.25 bitcoins per block as of May 11, 2020.

To put this in another context, imagine if the amount of gold mined out of the Earth was cut in half every four years. If gold’s value is based on its scarcity, then a “halving” of gold output every four years would theoretically drive its price higher.

Coin Metrics Bitcoin Halving
Coin Metrics logarithmic chart of Bitcoin price action following halvings.

Halving Implications

These halvings reduce the rate at which new coins are created and thus lower the available amount of new supply, even as demand might increase.

This can cause some implications for investors as other assets with low or finite supply, like gold, can have high demand and push prices higher.

In the past, these Bitcoin halvings have correlated with massive surges in Bitcoin’s price.

The first halving, which occurred on Nov. 28, 2012, saw an increase from $12 to $1,217 on Nov. 28, 2013.

The second Bitcoin halving occurred on July 9, 2016. The price at that halving was $647, and by Dec. 17, 2017, a bitcoin’s price had soared to $19,800. The price then fell over the course of a year from this peak down to $3,276 on Dec. 17, 2018, a price 506% higher than its pre-halving price.

The most recent halving occurred on May 11, 2020. On that date, a bitcoin’s price was $8,787. On April 14, 2021, a bitcoin’s price soared to $64,507 (an astonishing 634% increase from its pre-halving price). A month later, on May 11, 2021, a bitcoin’s price was $54,276, representing a 517% increase that seems more consistent with the behavior of the 2016 halving.

On May 12, 2021, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment, resulting in further price fluctuations.

In the week that followed Musk’s statements, the price of a bitcoin plunged below $40,000 after Chinese regulators announced restrictions banning financial institutions and payment companies from providing cryptocurrency-related services.

Though these two announcements may have temporarily created a price drop in Bitcoin, there is the potential that the price fluctuations are more related to the halving behavior we have observed previously.

The theory of the halving and the chain reaction that it sets off works something like this:

The reward is halved → half the inflation → lower available supply → higher demand → higher price → miners incentive still remains, regardless of smaller rewards, as the value of Bitcoin is increased in the process

In the event that a halving does not increase demand and price, then miners would have no incentive. The reward for completing transactions would be smaller, and the value of Bitcoin would not be high enough.

To prevent this, Bitcoin has a process to change the difficulty it takes to get mining rewards, or in other words, the difficulty of mining a transaction.

In the event that the reward has been halved, and the value of Bitcoin has not increased, the difficulty of mining would be reduced to keep miners incentivized.

This means that the quantity of bitcoins released as a reward is still smaller, but the difficulty of processing a transaction is reduced.

This process has proved successful twice. So far, the result of these halvings has been a ballooning in price followed by a large drop.

The crashes that have followed these gains, however, have still maintained prices higher than before these halving events.

For example, as mentioned above, the 2017 to 2018 bubble saw the value of a bitcoin rise to around $20,000, only to fall to around $3,200. This is a massive drop, but a bitcoin’s price before the halving was around $650.3

Though this system has worked so far, the halving is typically surrounded by immense speculation, hype, and volatility, and how the market will react to these events in the future is unpredictable.

The third halving occurred not only during a global pandemic, but also in an environment of heightened regulatory speculation, increased institutional interest in digital assets, and celebrity hype. Given these additional factors, where Bitcoin’s price will ultimately settle in the aftermath remains unclear.

What Happens When Bitcoin Halves?

The term “halving” as it relates to Bitcoin has to do with how many Bitcoin tokens are found in a newly created block.

Back in 2009, when Bitcoin launched, each block contained 50 BTC, but this amount was set to be reduced by 50% roughly every four years.

Today, there have been three halving events, and a block now only contains 6.25 BTC.

When the next halving occurs, a block will only contain 3.125 BTC.

When Have the Halvings Occurred?

The first bitcoin halving occurred on Nov. 28, 2012, after a total of 10,500,000 BTC had been mined. The next occurred on July 9, 2016, and the latest was on May 11, 2020. The next is expected to occur in early 2024.

Why Are the Halvings Occurring Less Than Every Four Years?

The Bitcoin mining algorithm is set with a target of finding new blocks once every 10 minutes.

However, if more miners join the network and add more hashing power, the time to find blocks will decrease.

This is remedied by resetting the mining difficulty (or how hard it is for a computer to solve the mining algorithm) once every two weeks or so to restore a 10-minute target.

As the Bitcoin network has grown exponentially over the past decade, the average time to find a block has consistently remained below 10 minutes (roughly 9.5 minutes).

Does Halving Have Any Effect on the Bitcoin Price?

The price of Bitcoin has risen steadily and significantly from its launch in 2009, when it traded for mere pennies or dollars, to April 2021 when the price of one bitcoin traded for over $63,000.3

Because halving the block reward effectively doubles the cost to miners, who are essentially the producers of bitcoins, it should have a positive impact on price because producers will need to adjust their selling price to their costs.

Empirical evidence does show that Bitcoin prices tend to rise in anticipation of a halvening, often several months prior to the actual event.

What Happens When There Are No More Bitcoins Left in a Block?

Around the year 2140, the last of the 21 million bitcoins ever to be mined will have been mined.

At this point, the halving schedule will cease because there will be no more new bitcoins to be found.

Miners, however, will still be incentivized to continue validating and confirming new transactions on the blockchain because the value of transaction fees paid to miners is expected to rise into the future, the reasons being that a greater transaction volume that has fees will be attached, plus bitcoins will have a greater nominal market value.

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Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wired fences!

Timothy C. May

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Thanks for the guidance and wisdom!

The world will never know how much they owe you!

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BitAddress

Open Source JavaScript Client-Side Bitcoin Wallet Generator

A Bitcoin wallet is as simple as a single pairing of a Bitcoin address with its corresponding Bitcoin private key. Such a wallet has been generated for you in your web browser and is displayed above.

To safeguard this wallet you must print or otherwise record the Bitcoin address and private key. It is important to make a backup copy of the private key and store it in a safe location. This site does not have knowledge of your private key. If you are familiar with PGP you can download this all-in-one HTML page and check that you have an authentic version from the author of this site by matching the SHA256 hash of this HTML with the SHA256 hash available in the signed version history document linked on the footer of this site. If you leave/refresh the site or press the “Generate New Address” button then a new private key will be generated and the previously displayed private key will not be retrievable. Your Bitcoin private key should be kept a secret. Whomever you share the private key with has access to spend all the bitcoins associated with that address. If you print your wallet then store it in a zip lock bag to keep it safe from water. Treat a paper wallet like cash.

Add funds to this wallet by instructing others to send bitcoins to your Bitcoin address.

Check your balance by going to blockchain.info or blockexplorer.com and entering your Bitcoin address.

Spend your bitcoins by going to blockchain.info and sweep the full balance of your private key into your account at their website. You can also spend your funds by downloading one of the popular bitcoin p2p clients and importing your private key to the p2p client wallet. Keep in mind when you import your single key to a bitcoin p2p client and spend funds your key will be bundled with other private keys in the p2p client wallet. When you perform a transaction your change will be sent to another bitcoin address within the p2p client wallet. You must then backup the p2p client wallet and keep it safe as your remaining bitcoins will be stored there. Satoshi advised that one should never delete a wallet.

Source:

https://www.bitaddress.org/

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