On pull request https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/220 say will be possible to import/export keys. I would like to know if will be possible to have the same key on different wallets and only be able to spend the bitcoins from this key with permission of the other users that has this same key on the wallet. Example:

  1. I have a key on my client with 10 BTC.
  2. I export this key and send to a friend
  3. The key will be on my wallet and on my friend wallet
  4. When I or my friend try to spend the bitcoins from this specific key, will be requested a password asking if we accept the transaction.

Will this be possible on next Bitcoin versions?

  • 4
    I think that the title of this question should be changed. It seems to be more about requiring permission from two different people to send funds and less about having the same key in two wallets.
    – D.H.
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


The pull request that you refer to is just for simple import/export of private keys and wallets and does not include the feature that you want.

There have been some discussions on multi-signature transactions which sounds similar to what you are looking for. That would allow for cases where two different private keys are required to make a transaction. See this forum thread and the draft proposal here.

  • 1
    Tell me: With pull 220, what will happen if I import the same key to two different wallets?
    – Leo
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 21:17
  • 1
    As both wallets will have the key with the ability to spend the coins, both can spend it. The first to spend it most likely decides where the coins go. The other will see the debit transaction appear. If you try to do two spendings almost simultaneous, you're effectively doing an attempted double spend. The netwerk will cope, but the wallet will not. Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 11:43
  • Sipa: Will be possible to have a feature where I know that a exported key it's not in any wallet? If someone export a key and send me, I would like to be the only one able to spend the btc from this key.
    – Leo
    Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 14:35
  • If you want to be the only one controlling a key, there is one simple solution: use a key you generated yourself. If you want to accept funds available to a key as incoming payment, do a transaction yourself to send the funds to a new key. There are plans for a "sweepprivkey" command that would do this; it hasn't been implemented, though. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 17:18

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