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Ethereum addresses are generated using a process called the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). ECDSA is a cryptographic algorithm that uses a pair of keys, a public key and a private key, to sign and verify digital signatures. (source)

I was wondering how the Ethereum https://etherscan.io/address/0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 address was generated? Does it have a private key that was not saved after the generation process intentionally?

3 Answers 3

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Technically, you form an Ethereum address by getting the first 20 bytes of the keccak256 of the public key. Multiple private keys can generate a single address, and 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 has nothing special; I can use 0x1234567890123456789012345678901234567890 or 0x1111111111111111111111111111111111111111 or your address; there's no difference, the probability someone controls a random address is the same.

In fact, someone uses other sink addresses like 0x01, 0x2, etc. the same way you can use 0x0 or other custom-made addresses.

The point with some clearly human-readable addresses is that because nobody can reverse engineer the private key from the address, you assume nobody controls those addresses because they are clearly made up starting from the address and not from the private key.

And if we assume that nobody controls those addresses, we can use them as burning/sinking hole addresses.

There are cases, like vanity addresses, where you generate tons of key pairs until you reach the address you want, but this technique is very time-consuming, and it can be applied just to finding a few letters you chose, and it's impossible to be used to obtain all the exact 20 bytes.

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It was not generated.

Addresses can exist without having a matching private key.

No one can access tokens at this address.

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  • Thank you! Makes sense
    – Mila A
    Nov 23, 2023 at 16:28
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As far as I know, the Ethereum address 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 is known as the "null address" or "burn address". It is used to destroy tokens, implement smart contracts, and prevent spam transactions... It is not associated with any private key, so any funds sent to this address are effectively lost.

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  • Thank you so much for your answer!
    – Mila A
    Nov 23, 2023 at 16:28
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    Nobody knows if there's a private key associated to it. It is very likely there's one because keccak (the hashing algorithm) output is quite random.
    – Ismael
    Nov 26, 2023 at 1:13

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