Imagine a scenario. There are 3 parties: Party A, Party B and a mediator party C. A and B transfer each 1 BTC to a newly created wallet W owned by C. The function of C is to distribute the entire 2 BTC to either A or B depending on some condition (think a bet). Now imagine C gets compromised and it's private key is stolen by a hacker. The hacker can now send 2 BTC to any address he wants. Is it possible to limit wallet W to sending funds to only A or B? So that even if it's compromised, the hacker can only send funds to A or B and not any arbitrary address.

1 Answer 1



  1. The mediator, C, creates an address.

  2. After the bet payment(s) have been made, C creates two transactions. One pays to A, and the other pays to B. He keeps both of these transactions secret. Then, he destroys the private key for the address.

  3. Depending on who wins, the mediator publishes one of the transactions.

An attacker can't send the Bitcoins to himself, but he can choose who wins the bet, or destroy both transactions.


If additional payments are made to C's address after he destroys its private key, those Bitcoins are lost. This could be mitigated by having the address be a 1-of-2 multisignature account, where one of the keys is an offline key held by the operator of the service.

The service is vulnerable between the time that it publishes the address and the time it creates and signs the transactions. You can't create the transactions in step two before you see the incoming transactions, either, because they will depend on the txid you're trying to spend.


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