Is It Possible to Generate Duplicate Private Keys or Bitcoin Addresses as Someone Else?

Nowadays, most bitcoin wallets generate a new address each time you need to receive funds from others. The main purpose of doing this is to protect your privacy and make the source of funds difficult to track.

Some people may worry that if too many bitcoin addresses are generated in the world, the address resource may be exhausted and they may have the possibility of getting the same address as someone else.

People are very bad at perceiving large numbers because we do not see them in daily life. To understand how large the resource of bitcoin address is, we have to look at it from the probability angle.

Ledger Nano S: A new receiving bitcoin address is generated
 Ledger Nano S: A new receiving bitcoin address is generated
  • The private key is a 256-bit random number generated by your computer, which means, the number of possible private keys is 2^256 (approximately 10^77 in decimal).
  • It is roughly equal to the number of hydrogen atoms in the observable universe.
  • From the private keys and one-way cryptographic function, we can calculate the corresponding public keys and bitcoin addresses.
  • Therefore, the resource of private keys and bitcoin addresses are unlimited. It will never get exhausted.
  • There is no need to worry about “energy saving” in the bitcoin space. You can generate as many new keys or addresses as you want for fun, and discard them anytime you want.

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