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I understand bitcoin is a ledger. Everything is accounted for. If something is debited from one side, it is credited to the other, and vice versa.
If a coin is sent to a wallet, with a public key, that doesn’t exist, the coins are considered “lost”. But they are still debited from the wallet that sent it and credited to the wallet that doesn’t exist.
If a new wallet is created, and by mere chance, is the same address as the one the “lost” coins were sent, would those coins there when the wallet was created?
Example: coins were sent to wallet “...xyz”. The coins were dedicated to xyz wallet, which does not exist. I create a wallet that just happens to be xyz. Would I have access to those bitcoin?

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Would I have access to those bitcoin?

Pieter has answered this but see answers to Is it possible to brute force bitcoin address creation in order to steal money? for an idea of how likely this sort of thing is.

There's some other points raised by your question that I think are worth examining.

I understand bitcoin is a ledger

We all say that but really, in accounting terms, it's not a ledger it's a journal. A transaction journal.

Everything is accounted for.

That is not exactly true. The transaction journal known as the blockchain keeps a record of all the amounts but there's a lot it doesn't account for.

If something is debited from one side, it is credited to the other, and vice versa.

There are no debits and credits in the Bitcoin network itself. That is, there is no carried-forward number in the Blockchain from which an amount is subtracted (debited) or added to (credited).

If a coin is sent to a wallet ...

Coins aren't really sent to wallets, we say they are sent to Bitcoin addresses. A Wallet will have many Bitcoin addresses. But really coins are not sent to addresses, they are locked by a locking script, a kind of simple program. Bitcoin addresses are just a kind of abstraction of a standard script.

... with a public key, that doesn’t exist, ...

That is certainly possible. Though "exists" isn't quite right. You mean a public-key for which no-one knows a corresponding private key.

... the coins are considered “lost”.

Actually, no one can tell the difference between a lost coin and one that is safely stored in a wallet. If someone doesn't know the private-key corresponding to a public key associated only with unspent coins, they have no way to tell if someone else ever did or currently does know such a private key.

But they are still debited from the wallet that sent it and credited to the wallet that doesn’t exist

Yes, but coins are not debited from wallets. The Bitcoin network protocol doesn't know about wallets. It doesn't really do any debiting or crediting. It just keeps track of the creation and destruction of coins and makes sure that only the right number of coins are created when other coins are destroyed. The Blockchain has no information about wallets.


The above will seem like nit-picking. But we regularly see people ask questions here because they have been tricked out of money by people exploiting slight misunderstanding of how Bitcoin actually works.

the kinds of wallets I mean when I write the word wallet are programs like Bitcoin-core or Electrum. Some businesses provide accounts and provide a web-based interface or an app to manage the account and call these a wallet - that is not what I mean.

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I create a wallet that just happens to be xyz. Would I have access to those bitcoin?

If you could do that, indeed you would get access to those coins.

But you can't. Doing so requires breaking the security assumptions underlying the signature algorithm. This must be true: if it wasn't, Bitcoin overall would be utterly broken.

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