How can you prevent bitcoins from unknown parties being transferred to any of your bitcoin addresses? if so, how? If not, why not?

  • Why would you want to do this? Oct 6, 2013 at 12:26
  • @NateEldredge - i was contemplating what "services" might be "layered" over the prevailing bitcoin infrastructure; a couple of "proto-designs" needed some level of "control" over inputs to one's bitcoin addresses; obviously i need to better grasp the subtleties of the bitcoin protocol :( however, as an aside, one would possibly not like to be receiving nefarious bitcoins from some spiteful drug dealer who might be inclined to want to take you (or your organisation) down when he goes down? scenarios like that?
    – jTA
    Oct 8, 2013 at 7:19

3 Answers 3


Receiving Bitcoins is entirely passive. The receiver plays no part in the process whatsoever. There is no way to refuse a Bitcoin transaction, other than to transfer the Bitcoins back to the sender.

  • 5
    Bear in mind also that transactions do not have a "sender" as such. You can send the coins to the address they came from, but there's no guarantee that they will notice or even be able to spend them again.
    – Anonymous
    Oct 6, 2013 at 7:13
  • 1
    @Anonymous Yep. And if it's a coinbase transaction, there's no sender at all. Oct 6, 2013 at 7:30
  • thanx! figured that :( likely this is well answered elsewhere? but is there a definitive set of documents fully explaining the bitcoin protocol somewhere? and by documents i mean a complete set of formal design documents in the one place! that provide everythin! data models, pseudocode & the like, so one can get a complete handle on the whole transaction design? note i do not mean wading through source code! thanx in advance
    – jTA
    Oct 7, 2013 at 1:02
  • bitcoin.it is the best place to start researching this topic, jTA, but unfortunately there is no master documentation online that spells it out clearly. however, there are many with technical knowledge on this forum as well as bitcointalk.org, so if you're adept at searching you can mostly find what you're looking for (or ask and post a bounty and someone will respond).
    – bvpx
    Oct 7, 2013 at 5:37
  • @bvpx Thank you! "there is no master ... " - I find this abs bl astounding :( and doing the strawdog-thing here or elsewhere seems the most fraught tactic, ever? :( i've browsed bitcoin.it - obviously not in sufficient detail :( - i was contemplating what "services" might be "layered" over the bitcoin infrastructure but (unknown) subtleties within the protocol itself will clearly derail any/every design draft? v disappointing :(
    – jTA
    Oct 7, 2013 at 23:28

No way.

But you can detect what coins transferred from one address and what coins transferred from another.

Look for example at the first address in the network:




Nobody can stop people to send bitcoins to Satoshi's address, first bitcoin address in the network.


By requiring identity before giving out a Bitcoin address, you can help to reduce the chances that a payment will be made by an unknown party.

Obviously, if you are using a static address, like how many charities do, then you won't know who the party was that sent the funds.

A related topic is the Bitcoin payment protocol (coming in Bitcoin v0.9) that is useful when issuing a payment request. Depending on why you asked your question, that feature might be useful to you.

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