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I was looking into wallets and the information that they contain. I found this post:

What information does a wallet contain?

I thought that wallets have only one key pair. Why is there more than one key pair in a wallet?

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  • Hey Andre, am I understanding right that you're asking why wallets have more than one key?
    – Murch
    Aug 2 at 14:31
  • So far I understood every Wallet has a Wallet Adress which is a algorthmic version of the Public Key und a Private Key, but if read that it is possible for a wallet to have more then one private public key pair?
    – Andre
    Aug 2 at 14:34
  • I have edited your question to more clearly express what I think you are asking. Please feel free to edit it further if I didn't capture your intent.
    – Murch
    Aug 2 at 14:39
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Most wallets have indeed only one main secret, but they use it to generate many different addresses.

When you receive a payment in Bitcoin, the sender locks up funds with a locking script that can only be spent using your private key. The locking scripts are deterministically derived from your public key and visible to all other users on the network. If you were to use only a single key pair, any observer on the network could assume that all the corresponding funds belong to the same user and could easily cluster all your payments.

Wallets generally steer the user towards using a new address for every payment they receive, to decouple funds and achieve some financial privacy. However, if all of those keys were unrelated, we'd have to make a new wallet backup after every payment, so today's wallets generally work by having one main secret from which any number of sub-keys are derived for the individual payments.

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  • Thanks a lot! so practically a wallet could have only one key pair but for the sake of privacy it generates more key pairs from that initial first key pair?
    – Andre
    Aug 3 at 7:56
  • Yes, pretty much that.
    – Murch
    Aug 3 at 12:35
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first of all we need to understand which wallet you are talking about i.e blockchain or bitcoin core or some other wallet. but in all cases wallet owner have the option to import more than one private keys in a single wallet that is why you see more than one pair or private public keys in the wallet

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  • for starters lets go with something simple like Bitcoin core (i guess that's fairly simple because they're only compatible with bitcoin chain?)
    – Andre
    Aug 2 at 14:35

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