The 0x0 address in Ethereum has a lot of token stored in it that have been burnt in the past. However, it appears they burning is the same as sending to 0x0. In that case, could all of those burnt tokens be recovered if someone had access to the private key for 0x0?

  • 14
    There is just as much chance of finding the key to any other address, some of which contain even more ETH than 0x0. Jan 23 '18 at 13:23
  • 2
  • 4
    Every answer so far says "yes, but it's unlikely". I'll remember this question when in 3-5 years somebody finds out how to do it anyway.
    – Mast
    Jan 23 '18 at 17:49
  • 1
    @Chris We'll see. I hope you're right.
    – Mast
    Jan 23 '18 at 20:34
  • 1
    @Cubic The key for TLS can be compromised, because it exists and is installed in at least one server. For the 0x0 address, there never was any private key, so it isn't possible to steal it. The address doesn't differ from any other address otherwise, so the question becomes how likely it is to get the key for any address. Jan 24 '18 at 12:39

Hypothetically speaking, yes. If someone managed to guess a private key to 0x0, then they would have full control over all ether/tokens belonging to that address. It is so unlikely that it's considered impossible because you would have to randomly generate private keys until you found one that generates the 0x0 address. Also, there might not even be a private key that generates the 0x0 address because of the non-1-to-1 nature of hashes.

  • 10
    It's very likely that there exists a corresponding private key, because the private keys are 256 bit and addresses only 160 bit. So likely there are around 2⁹⁶ private keys corresponding to 0x0 address. But still very difficult to find even one, of course.
    – jpa
    Jan 23 '18 at 19:35
  • 1
    Just wait for quantum computers to come about 👀 Sep 7 '21 at 10:09

Yes they would have access to all the tokens and ETH. The only way to carry out such attack would be creating keypairs until you reach that address'es keypair. But you must understand that achieving success with such attack is extremely unlikely.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.