Child wallet addresses, also called HD paths (hierarchical deterministic), belonging to the same seed phrase are deterministic in Metamask hot wallets and Ledger hardware wallets. That is, the 0x addresses created after the primary 0x address, and the order they appear, are kept intact in all future recovery attempts of the seed phrase. (Extra unrelated fact: Metamask seed phrases contain 12 words, whereas Ledger seed phrases contain 24 words.)

  1. As the wallet owner, how to extract a list of all those deterministic HD paths for a Metamask seed phrase and comparatively for a Ledger seed phrase?
  2. Can a non-owner also derive these HD paths somehow without knowing the seed phrase?
  3. How many HD paths are there in total for any given seed phrase? 10+? 50+?

Bonus points:

  1. an old Ledger seed phrase can contain both Legacy and Ledger Live HD paths. Are these 2 types derived differently than one another?
  • there are an infinite number, which is why you can keep making accounts as long as you like Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 8:57
  • So every seed phrase is already deterministically populated with an infinite number of wallets per person? Isn't this a good way for the crypto ecosystem to run out of useably unique wallet addresses even before 1 billion users adopt crypto?
    – user610620
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 12:12
  • You may as well say: because addresses are numbers, and you can add 1 to get another address, isn't this a way to run out of addresses? You can estimate how many wallets and how many addresses per wallet are needed before there is a 0.0001% chance of getting the same one twice Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 12:23
  • Could you formulate an answer demonstrating how infinite wallet addresses per user is not a problem for scarcity
    – user610620
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 13:35


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