Dust Transactions

Miniscule amounts of Bitcoin in a wallet — with a value that would be outweighed by the cost of a transaction fee.

What Is a Dust Transaction in Crypto?

Dust is a very small amount of cryptocurrency, usually worth less than one cent, that cannot be traded or sold on an exchange. This usually occurs when a user makes multiple transactions or trades, and the leftover amount is too small to be sold or exchanged.

More often than not, the value of dust in a dust transaction will be significantly lower than the actual fee for moving the tiny particles. In many cases, this is the reason why these fractions end up gathering across wallets and rarely see the light of day.

Occasionally, a significant number of separate dust transactions will be maliciously used in what is known as a dusting attack — a deliberate act of transferring almost unnoticeable amounts of cryptocurrency to random wallets in order to then track activity within the wallet and break down the anonymity of its owner.

However, dust transactions are not only used nefariously. There are some charitable organizations, such as Dust Aid, which allow users to sweep up pockets of dust from their wallets and donate them to good causes.

Crypto dust can be annoying, especially if you are trying to manage your crypto portfolio efficiently. Too much dust can cause a backlog of transactions and can prevent larger transactions from going through. However, it can also be a useful tool for diversifying your portfolio, as it allows you to buy small amounts of many different cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if crypto dust is something they want to deal with.

How Do You Remove Crypto Dust?

To remove crypto dust, you can either contact the exchange and ask them to consolidate the dust into a larger amount, or you can use a service such as DustSweeper, which automatically sweeps up small amounts of cryptocurrency and combines them into a larger amount.  

Contacting the exchange involves providing them with a wallet address and requesting that they send the remaining balance to that address. In most cases, the exchange will be happy to oblige, but do your due diligence and research the exchange before sending your funds.