According to BIP32 we can have a seed from which we derive all our private and public keys, so in theory we can have an "infinite" number of child and grandchild keys so why does BIP44 limit that idea of infinity and limits HD wallets to only derive keys from the address_index the "fifth generation"

m / purpose' / coin_type' / account' / change / address_index

So in practice Bitcoin wallets following BIP44 can only generate 231 keys, furthermore only 231 possible Bitcoin addresses. Why is that the case when we can have an infinite amount of addresses?


2 billion keys within one wallet ought to be enough for everyone.

There haven't been even that many transactions in all of Bitcoin's history.

  • Actually I know that 2 billion keys are definitely enough (although not a good thing for privacy of shops and businesses who use Bitcoin wallet xPub for their public key derivation because in theory someone could discover all their public addresses) but my question is why limit it to 2 billion when we can have infinite amount of addresses?
    – Adolin
    Sep 19 '21 at 1:01

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