How can you share a plaintext bitcoin address private key with a friend and ensure they won’t spend your bitcoin?

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    This sounds like an XY problem. The sole purpose of a private key is to enable someone to spend the corresponding coins. If you don't want them to spend the coins, what is it that you hope to accomplish by sharing the key? Feb 19, 2018 at 23:05

3 Answers 3


That's not possible. If your friend has the private key, he has everything he needs to spend all the bitcoins of that address.

What you could do: Use the private key (before he uses it) and send the coins to a new wallet and don't give him the new private key, seed...


You should create multisig transactions. Multisignature (multisig) refers to requiring more than one key to authorize a Bitcoin transaction. It is generally used to divide up responsibility for possession of bitcoins.

Standard transactions on the Bitcoin network could be called “single-signature transactions,” because transfers require only one signature — from the owner of the private key associated with the Bitcoin address. However, the Bitcoin network supports much more complicated transactions that require the signatures of multiple people before the funds can be transferred. These are often referred to as M-of-N transactions. The idea is that Bitcoins become “encumbered” by providing addresses of multiple parties, thus requiring cooperation of those parties in order to do anything with them. These parties can be people, institutions or programmed scripts.


A pubkey script that provides n number of pubkeys and requires the corresponding signature script provide m minimum number signatures corresponding to the provided pubkeys.


Also it has been answered here:

What are multi-signature transactions?


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