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This is by virtue of the blockchain. An unused address is by definition unused. Meaning that is doesn’t exist on the chain and only exists locally, in the context of the software that has generated it. Different software may use different rules to generate addresses. For example in the past, cardano-sl wallets used a method called random derivation where addresses were created from a root seed and a random index stored within the address itself. Because these indexes were random, it was not possible to restore randomly generated addresses which hadn’t been used on chain yet!
cardano-wallet has been using sequential derivation which follows a very similar principle with the major difference that indexes are derived in sequence, starting from 0. Following this method, wallets aren’t allowed to pre-generate too many addresses in advance. As a consequence, it is now possible to restore a wallet across many machines while keeping a very consistent state.
There are two sides to this question. Either, you are referring to accounts as in Ethereum accounts, or you may refer to accounts of hierarchical deterministic wallets.
In the first scenario, assets in the form of accounts are only supported in the Shelley era of Cardano and only for a specific use-case: rewards. Rewards are indeed implicitely published on the blockchain to mitigate the risk of flooding the network at the end of every epoch with rewards payouts! Hence, each core node keeps track of the current value of each reward account in a Ledger. Money can be withdrawn from this account and is then turned as a UTxO. Please note that funds can never be manually sent to a reward account. The creation of a reward account is done when registering a staking key, via a specific type of transaction.
In the second case, please refer to the HD wallets section in the Key concepts. Cardano wallets typically follow an HD tree of derivation as described in this section.
f you intend to contribute to Cardano by making code changes to one of the core components, then yes. We recommend using stack for a better developer experience.
If you only intend to use the services as-is then, using either the pre-compiled release artifacts for your appropriate platform or a pre-packaged docker image is preferable.
On Byron, have a look at: https://testnets.cardano.org/en/cardano/byron/tools/faucet
On Shelley, this is coming soon.