this address stole 680 eth from a fake presale https://etherscan.io/address/0x56922c7dbfb5781617d0624c3f4fea5e6a7d4d77

There even much worse ones like the multi-sig hack. https://etherscan.io/address/0xb3764761e297d6f121e79c32a65829cd1ddb4d32

is there a way to block incoming and outgoing tx for such addresses. What is the feasibility and likelihood of this ever happening. Would it require the soourcecode be changed. I read that if the majority of miners agree to it, it can be done. But it hurts fungabiltiy of currency.


5 Answers 5


There is no possible way to freeze the account (at least on a decentralized way).

The only thing that can be done to solve this (and is even harder maybe) is to hard-fork the chain after the robbery was done.

By this way, all of the tx's until that moment to now will be reverted, but a consensus between all of the blockchain will be needed. That's why I said it will be even harder.


Technically it would be possible, but I don't think it will ever happen.

Mainly because there isn't any decentralized mechanism to decide when it's OK to block an address.

  • The mechanism could be any kind of majority vote / consensus which is a typical blockchain like answer to many questions. Just I wonder to what extend it would solve the problem or create even bigger ones.
    – TorstenS
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 15:21

Thinking this through, the question would be what you are trying to achive:

  • Freezing a fraudulent address does not mean at all that you as the person who has been ripped off will get your money back
  • Who is going to make the thumbs up / thumbs down decision if a transaction has been fraudulent? Fraud means different things to different people.

Of course you can argue, that any fraudulent party may just loose the incentive to scam other people if they can expect that they will not be able to spend the coins they have stolen.

But then, how is this going to be implemented time wise? If such a mechanism would exist, anyone who stole coins would make sure to spend them as soon as possible prior to one's walet being frozen.

If you would go further down the chain and revert transactions which stem from stolen coins, this would mean that nobody who receives any coins could ever be sure that he really got them as they might get recoved further up the line.


Yes, it should be possible to block transactions from a particular address.

It will require a change on the consensus rules and everybody have to upgrade their client to follow the new rules.

Now the problems began:

  • Who decides what addresses are blocked? Developers, miners, "community".
  • What evidence will be required? Do all "bad" account should be blocked?
  • Can accounts be unblocked if the hackers want to return the stolen ether?
  • Isn't it better to revert fraudulent transaction instead?

After doing some more reading, it cannot be done because it opens a denial of service vector



that is why the DAO soft fork was abandoned

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