Dust Error. What is it?

If you have come to this page, you most likely faced the Dust Error when sending BTC or BTC-like coins. This error occurs due to the network specifics of all BTC-like networks. In this article, you can find out why this error occurs and how to avoid it.

First, we need to understand what dust is

Dust is a tiny amount of coins or tokens that is less than the network's fee for sending it. It's almost impossible to spend that amount. In BTC and BTC-like currencies such as DOGE, LTC, BCH several small UTXOs may accumulate and in combination with large commissions lead to the fact that part of the balance will be impossible to spend.

What is UTXO?

UTXO is an abbreviation for Unspent Transaction Output. In BTC-like currencies, your balance is not one value, but a sum of smaller values called UTXO. Each transaction consists of UTXOs, it can be one UTXO or several or even all of your UTXOs. The more UTXOs involved in sending a transaction, the more data is needed to register the transaction in the blockchain and therefore the fee becomes higher.

Why does this error occur?

If the UTXO amount is less than the network fee required to send it, then it will not be possible to send it at the current fee rate. If all UTXOs are dust, then nothing can be sent from your address.

Let's assume that your address contains 3 UTXOs for amounts: 0.006, 0.0002, and 0.0004, for a total of 0.0066. Imagine that at the moment the fee rate is 60 sats/b, and the number of bytes to add one additional UTXO is 120, in which case the additional fee for adding one UTXO is 0.0007200(120х60). This is higher than 2 of your UTXOs(0.0002, and 0.0004) and in that case, they cannot be sent, only UTXO 0.006 can be sent at the current fee rate.

Is there anything I can do about it?

Yes, here are some tips:

  1. Do not send very small transactions with high fees, because then the network will try to create a UTXO from that transaction and it will fail.
  2. Send all UTXOs that are possible to send with the current network fee. This will leave the dust UTXOs on your balance but will send all non-dust UTXOs.
  3. If you only have dust UTXOs left, you should try sending them with a lower fee. You can change the fee in the advanced options tab when you create a transaction.

In conclusion, we want to add that it is impossible to see your UTXOs inside the wallet, but you can always check your UTXOs in a block explorer, for example, in Blockchair.

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