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Given e.g. one lost the private key to a specific bitcoin address, is there any way to make sure no more bitcoins can be transferred to it since it effectively became a bitcoin-furnace?

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Unfortunately, there is no way to do any such thing. Your only option is to manually inform any business partners that the address has fallen out of use.

As the only way to proof indubitably that you were the owner of said address would be to sign a message with the respective private key, I don't see how anyone could justifiably shut down an address.

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    sadly unlike PGP there is no separate revocation key, though one could sign the "I've lost the key" message in advance and put it someplace safe... – Tobias Kienzler Jan 24 '14 at 20:23
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    That's right. But then you could just as well put a backup of the private-key someplace safe. ;) – Murch Jan 24 '14 at 21:20
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    True - though you could give the signed revocation to someone else who would then still be able to refute any claim of theft, and you wouldn't need to trust them too much – Tobias Kienzler Jan 25 '14 at 8:54
  • Right, I hadn't thought about that. – Murch Jan 25 '14 at 8:54

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