I want to accept BTC payments but I'm a bit worried about the gap limit.
I've read our wallet could miss the funds beyond the gap limit if that happen.
But I also read that we could fix that easily increasing the gap limit in Electrum for example.
So I'm a bit confused right now, is possible to loose the funds due a gap limit or that problem is just something we can fix easily in our wallet changing the settings?

3 Answers 3


You won't ever lose funds due to the gap limit; they don't become lost forever. You can still retrieve them.

The gap limit is really only an issue for restoring backups. When restoring a backup, the gap limit is used by the wallet to know how many addresses to lookahead in order to ensure that all funds are seen. If the gap limit is too small, then a long string of unused addresses can cause the wallet to miss funds at higher indexed addresses as it does not generate them when restoring the backup.

The gap limit is not an issue for normal use. It only effects backup restoration and, when doing such restores, it is easy to just increase the gap limit if you find that not all of your funds were seen by the wallet,

  • The gap limit is not only an issue for restoring backups. If his e-commerce software generates 100 consecutive receiving addresses for potential customers that never pay, the gap limit had better be >100. (I'm assuming the addresses are generated outside of Electrum, using the xpub.) Jun 4, 2019 at 4:35

Also as @bitcoin hodler has pointed out, the gap limit is not just a backup restore issue. usually for commercial purposes your users may be curious to see the checkout page without actually checking out thereby generating unused addresses. I suggest one can satisfy their curiosity by including a demo checkout page thereby reducing the number of them that will proceed to try it out. This coupled with other fix can be useful!


The title of this question mentions BIP32, but this is actually due to BIP-44 default limit of 20:


The limit can be set to a higher value.

  • On which wallet? Certainly on most wallets I know you can't.
    – Giszmo
    Jan 18, 2021 at 12:26

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