Will We Ever Run Out of Bitcoin Wallets?

We are taught to be frugal, but when it comes to tech, same rules do not apply.

Most companies and people who use Bitcoin create new wallet for each transaction. This is also what most crypto security specialist advice.

That’s such a waste, one might think.

Why to throw a perfectly good Bitcoin wallet after it has been used only once?

In normal life we are taught to be frugal. Every recourse we have is limited and every piece of item should be reused and then recycled.

But in tech things are different. They are indepletable, almost infinite.

There are 2¹⁶⁰ possible Bitcoin wallets. In simple number that is

1,461,501,637,330,902,918,203,684,832,716,283,019,655,932,542,976

Let’s put this number to perspective.

Let’s imagine that every person (7,7 billion) living on earth would create 1 billion wallets per second, which is not even possible using today’s computers. It would take 436 billion times longer than our universe has existed (13,8 billion years) to use all possible Bitcoin wallets.

That’s how many there are.

To put it in simple words

Bitcoin wallets will never run out. Our solar system and galaxy will die sooner than we’ll be able to use all the possible addresses. Even if we use all our resources and energy to build super computers that will create Bitcoin wallets at unthinkable pace.

So far we have used 22 million Bitcoin wallets.

So don’t worry. You can use new wallet for every transaction.

And if there’s still someone who think that someone will be able to hack his private key I have some news for you.

There are 2²⁵⁶ possible private keys.

That’s 79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336 times more than there are Bitcoin wallets. So everything you read above multiply by this number.

Same applies to quantum computing. The individuals who think that in the future it will be able to hack Bitcoin’s private key, really have no idea how difficult that really is.

Quantum computer would theoretically be 100 million times faster than our current computers. That’s pretty fast, but not fast enough.

It will take around 4×10⁵² years for today’s computer to crack Bitcoin private key. Divide this by 100 million and you get 4×10⁴⁴ years.

That’s is truly a lot faster, but still not fast enough.


Will We Ever Run Out of Bitcoin Wallets? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.