How many bitcoin addresses are there?

It is always recommended to use a new (fresh) bitcoin address for each payment. This promotes security and privacy. But what is the probability that two different people create the same bitcoin address?

Practically impossible

The short answer to the question of how many bitcoin addresses there are is 2 160 . A number, called a quindecillion , which is actually too big to write out, but we’ll do it anyway!

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

The chance that two people create the same bitcoin address is therefore extremely small, but when we see the number written out like this, it seems to some that it is possible. So let’s put the number in perspective a bit further.

Roughly estimated, there are about 7.5 trillion grains of sand on Earth: 7,500,000,000,000,000,000. The chance that person A points to a random grain of sand on earth and person B then finds it is therefore still many times (!) greater than the chance that two people create the same bitcoin address.

When we divide the total number of bitcoin addresses by the world population, we arrive at about 190 undecillion bitcoin addresses per person:

190,230,285,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Each person on earth can therefore create such a large amount of Bitcoin addresses that it is highly unlikely that the same Bitcoin address will ever be created by two different people. It is therefore also not profitable to put a supercomputer to calculate and to keep creating new bitcoin addresses in the hope of getting hold of some bitcoins. This would simply be a waste of computing power and energy.

So, with this knowledge of numbers we can sleep peacefully again.

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