I am new to crypto world trying to understand the Ether wallet generation process with the private key. Let us say 2 person A and B are buying a cold storage device "Ledger Nano S" and setting it up for storing the ETH.

There is very low possibility of getting the same private key on both the devices. If that happens, who is the real owner of the ETH in the wallet ?

2 Answers 2


The question isn't whether or not it will happen. It will almost certainly never happen. The question is, "What if it does?"

In a technical sense nothing bad would happen. It would be exactly the same if you had the same private key on two devices, which is something I do all the time, for example. Each owner of the account could spend any amount they wanted to.

In a social sense, I think all hell would break loose. There's so much certainty that it will never happen, that if it does people's faith in the system would lessen. But since it would only effective at most two people, one or the other of them would simply drain the account and then everything returned to normal.

Most people would probably assume that one user just stole the other user's key.

  • I once created (as a test) two accounts using the same private key and obtained two different addresses. Are you saying that these two addresses are anyway the same account? Jun 27, 2017 at 23:52

Both would own the account since they both get the private key. But it is very unlikely to happen one day.

Edit : I think it is already answer here but the odd of this happening one day are well described here

  • Thanks Crema. I think it is good to create at least 3 wallets to minimise the risk of loosing the coins
    – iappmaker
    Jun 3, 2017 at 18:58

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