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Author Topic: What about those bitcoins that are LOST?  (Read 3565 times)
GODLIKE
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July 15, 2015, 09:15:22 AM
 #21

A good question OP i have thought about this before.
Interesting answers so far but 2 questions of my own

1) Who would sign off on the coins actually being lost and would we ever trust any 1 person to do this?
2) I know there is a blockchain.info address that you can send coins to that can never be recovered, do these coins get replaced? Can anyone supply that address for me please?

I presented a way to "spot" lost coins: they would be out of use since years and years.

Bitcoins has not been around since years and years but last year 5,5 million bitcoin was untouched for more than 2 years.

So what? When Bitcoin becomes widely used, that is going to change.
It's normal that at the moment, when Bitcoin is mostly used as an investment asset, there is a huge number of them sitting unused.
I have less than 1 BTC, and you bet it: it's sitting warmly in my wallet.

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July 15, 2015, 09:37:53 AM
 #22

This will not have a bad influence on the overall community. At the moment Bitcoin is devisable to 0.0000001 ... If a shortage of Bitcoins occur, they can just add a few zero's. {Extreme scenario}

Coins are also added daily through mining, for many years to come... and would not run out in our life time.  Wink

Nobody will ever really know, how many coins are lost... I have coins in cold storage, that has been there for years. It's out of circulation, but it's not lost.

Most people would bring these coins back in circulation, before a scenario like this occur... because they would be more valueble anyway.  Wink It's really a non-issue.

I hope I explained it, better than I understand it.  Wink  

 

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July 15, 2015, 09:44:37 AM
 #23

And I mean really, really lost.
A lot of people can't remember their passwords after 4 minutes since they set it up.
But apart this, there's several ways bitcoins can get lost, like in example if you have a wallet on a USB key and this breaks and you have no cold backup.

This will inevitably bring, in the future, to less than those 21 million cap.
And they WILL keep going down.

Is there a plan to reintegrate them?

Lost coins reduce supply of bitcoins. Supply goes down, price goes up. You can divide Bitcoin however you want, so unless I'm missing something, it shouldn't be a problem.

Indeed we can divide Bitcoin as to where we want.
However, I doubt that the coins lost due to the reasons mentioned above can affect the price of Bitcoin simply because there is no way the other Bitcoiners can know that another lost their wallet (hardware failure) or forgot their password. And even if they have heard about it, there is no way to prove that it is true.
So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.

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July 15, 2015, 09:48:46 AM
 #24

I guess it will lost forever. it can't effect bitcoin. We still have enough bitcoins.
           
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July 15, 2015, 10:02:32 AM
 #25

This will not have a bad influence on the overall community. At the moment Bitcoin is devisable to 0.0000001 ... If a shortage of Bitcoins occur, they can just add a few zero's. {Extreme scenario}

Coins are also added daily through mining, for many years to come... and would not run out in our life time.  Wink

Nobody will ever really know, how many coins are lost... I have coins in cold storage, that has been there for years. It's out of circulation, but it's not lost.

Most people would bring these coins back in circulation, before a scenario like this occur... because they would be more valueble anyway.  Wink It's really a non-issue.

I hope I explained it, better than I understand it.  Wink  

 

Can you tell me where to find information about Bitcoin division?
I follow it since a couple years, never read about that possibility to divide Bitcoins in smaller parts than Satoshis.

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July 15, 2015, 10:02:50 AM
 #26

Lost Bitcoins is a good thing actually. They make your unlost bitcoins more valuable. (As long as the lost ones aren't yours of course)

I don't think so: nobody knows anybody has lost his coins, there's no way to know it, apart the case I exposed in the previous post, or by admission of the user himself, which can be fraudulent.
AT THE MOMENT the value of your coins is UNAFFECTED by lost coins.
In the future, when we'll hit the wall, THEN this may affect it, as less and less coins will be in circulation.

Do you know what circulation means?  If coins are lost, they are immediately out of circulation.  Therefore, there are less of them.  

Since you don't know anything about how anything works, I'll explain it to you:

The supply and the demand determine the price.  Every lost coin decreases the supply, which increases the price.  Every coin in cold storage has the same affect.

So at the moment, the value of your coins is affected by lost coins.


Quote
I can propose an even worse scenario: let's say that USA now bans Bitcoins.
FBI could, after taking them from criminals, instead than resell them on the market, just burn and lose the keys to recover them.
We are talking about thousands of BTC wasted in each major operation and a continuous waste in smaller operations.
Actually, this would be possibly the only way to neutralize a cryptocurrency: bleed it to death.

We can only hope that would happen.  If "neutralize" means "make it worth $10,000", then please go ahead.


Quote
there is no other reason why it should go to x100 or whatever crazy value, because we have only lost 50% of total supply

Do you know what a 2% difference in supply does to the price of pork, or wheat, or corn?  No, of course you don't know.  Hint:  It can change it a lot more than 2%.

Did you know that the price of corn was $7.00 a bushel in 2012, and $3.50 in 2014?  I'll save you the trouble of doing the math: that's half the price.

Just go to an exchange and pay attention.  When one person puts in a big order, it can influence everyone else to change their orders because they're afraid their orders won't get filled.  


Quote
Around one year ago, I made a quick count and found that 21 million BTC, if they would be distributed to cover ALL the Earth wealth (241 trillions), they would be not granular enough to be used as currency.
To say it another way: a single Satoshi would be valued something like 50 or 100 $, and couldn't be used for shopping in a comfortable way.

Satoshi did the same calculation, and he determined that all the money in the world could be replaced with Bitcoin and a Satoshi could still be worth much less than 1 dollar.  

Of course, he was using the M1 money supply.  I'm sure you know what that is, so I won't explain it.

But I will point out that 1 bitcoin is 100 Million satoshis.  According to my math, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that would make 10 bitcoins approximately 1 Billion satoshis (give or take a few satoshis, of course, it's impossible to be accurate with such big numbers).  And then 10,000 bitcoins would be 1 trillion satoshis.  Are we on the same page so far?

So, if you are correct, and I'm sure you are, then we need 241 trillion dollars...So let's see...10,000 bitcoins is a trillion satoshis...so we need 2,410,000 BTC...and we're going to have about 21,000,000...so if 88% of all bitcoins are lost, then we won't be able to send an amount less than 1 dollar.  Is that about right?  

Hopefully by the time 88% of all bitcoins are lost, someone will make another coin that can be used for smaller transactions.  Kind of a "lite" version of bitcoin, maybe.  Do you think it will happen in time to avoid a global crisis?


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July 15, 2015, 11:10:11 AM
 #27

I can propose an even worse scenario: let's say that USA now bans Bitcoins.
FBI could, after taking them from criminals, instead than resell them on the market, just burn and lose the keys to recover them.
We are talking about thousands of BTC wasted in each major operation and a continuous waste in smaller operations.
Actually, this would be possibly the only way to neutralize a cryptocurrency: bleed it to death.


Suppose the FBI started burning bitcoins. Let's assume they were wildly and unrealistically successful and managed to burn 18.9 million bitcoins (90% of the total supply ever). The result would be that there would "only" be 2.1 million bitcoins. That's only a difference of 1 decimal place, so it's clear that this would be a very unsuccessful way to attack the network.

By the way, I'm sure I've seen this topic discussed on the board before. If someone wanted to read more responses to this concern, they could search the board.

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July 15, 2015, 12:00:35 PM
 #28


So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.
Could someone please explain how this address works?
I imagine that it's just a btc address that is guaranteed some how that the private keys have been distroyed, but are the coins still sitting in that wallet/address and could anyone ever hack it to steal the coins?
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July 15, 2015, 12:06:28 PM
Last edit: July 15, 2015, 03:14:46 PM by Amph
 #29


So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.
Could someone please explain how this address works?
I imagine that it's just a btc address that is guaranteed some how that the private keys have been distroyed, but are the coins still sitting in that wallet/address and could anyone ever hack it to steal the coins?

i think it's a joke man, that address does not exist lol, but i guess someone could customize it with some tools

I guess it will lost forever. it can't effect bitcoin. We still have enough bitcoins.
          

it will but as a many believe, it will affect bitcoin exactly by the % of the coins that are lost nothing more or less, simple math

so if we lose 33% we might end with a 50% gain, if we lose 50% we might end with 100% gain and so on
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July 15, 2015, 12:31:13 PM
 #30

Lost Bitcoins is a good thing actually. They make your unlost bitcoins more valuable. (As long as the lost ones aren't yours of course)

I don't think so: nobody knows anybody has lost his coins, there's no way to know it, apart the case I exposed in the previous post, or by admission of the user himself, which can be fraudulent.
AT THE MOMENT the value of your coins is UNAFFECTED by lost coins.
In the future, when we'll hit the wall, THEN this may affect it, as less and less coins will be in circulation.

This is it. You don't know if the coins are truly lost as they are sitting in an address to which someone may or may not have access. Down the road in many years it may lead to more valuable remaining coins.
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July 15, 2015, 12:41:10 PM
 #31


So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.
Could someone please explain how this address works?
I imagine that it's just a btc address that is guaranteed some how that the private keys have been distroyed, but are the coins still sitting in that wallet/address and could anyone ever hack it to steal the coins?

i think it's a joke man, that address does not exist lol, but i guess someone could customize it with some tools

Yeah thought that, i did try check it on blockchain but it says not recognised.
I still think i do remember reading about an addresd where you can send coins to and they will be lost or destroyed forever, maybe it was something to do with testing transactions.
I will edit post if i can find anything about this, or if someone else can help.
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July 15, 2015, 12:41:43 PM
 #32

It should hypothetically make the remaining coins more valuable.  But it seems like as long as you can continue the digits past the decimal point (ie 0.00000000000000008879) I think a prefix or scientific notation can be used to show the value.  This may not bee needed for a LONG time, we'll see if btc is still around by that time.

With that said I think the bigger issue is the frustration at losing coins.  I have lost small amounts, and I think I have some "stuck" under the minimum withdrawal amounts from some sites.  This is more of an issue I htink than the coins reducing the number in circulation
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July 15, 2015, 12:54:28 PM
 #33

It'll just be lost forever. Doesn't matter really if btc can be broken down to satoshi's.
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July 15, 2015, 01:10:56 PM
 #34

And I mean really, really lost.
A lot of people can't remember their passwords after 4 minutes since they set it up.
But apart this, there's several ways bitcoins can get lost, like in example if you have a wallet on a USB key and this breaks and you have no cold backup.

This will inevitably bring, in the future, to less than those 21 million cap.
And they WILL keep going down.

Is there a plan to reintegrate them?

you need not worry about the future when the 21 million cap is reached because it is far far away.

also the price of bitcoin will determine whether the amount of available bitcoin is enough or not, besides there is not just 21 mil BTC there is much more because you have to consider every digit after the point too. i mean 1 satoshi (1e-8BTC) is usable and have value.

additionally 1 satoshi can be broken down into smaller units if needs be, with a simple change in the code.

I agree with this: it's not an actual problem. It may become a problem in the future.
But if what you say is true, that also Satoshis can be divided, then there is no problem at all, I guess.
But I've never read anything about this, are you sure this can be done?

yes i am sure about this.
you can read the bitcoin wiki page for more information on bitcoin divisibility .

in short, bitcoin is has infinite divisibility, which means even if because of massive loss of bitcoin private keys (wallets or whatever) only one bitcoin is left it can be divided into enough parts so that everyone can use it without anything happening to bitcoin

actually your question is answered in much details on bitcoin wiki you can read it there!
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/FAQ#Won.27t_loss_of_wallets_and_the_finite_amount_of_Bitcoins_create_excessive_deflation.2C_destroying_Bitcoin.3F

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Code:
bitcoin infinitely divisible

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July 15, 2015, 02:11:08 PM
 #35

And I mean really, really lost.
A lot of people can't remember their passwords after 4 minutes since they set it up.
But apart this, there's several ways bitcoins can get lost, like in example if you have a wallet on a USB key and this breaks and you have no cold backup.

This will inevitably bring, in the future, to less than those 21 million cap.
And they WILL keep going down.

Is there a plan to reintegrate them?

I myself am responsible for atleast 5-10BTC out floating in wallets that are basically unrecoverable, some was just deleting the wallet or throwing out the old computer with BTC wallet that still had some on it (at the time a couple BTC was basically worthless and i didnt see any reason to keep it) another way i lost lil over 2BTC was when i bought some from ATM and had them sent to my phone wallet (which was not backed up) then the phone got left on side of highway while changing a tire since i used my phone for flashlight (those were actually worth keeping) but ya if just me 1 user of BTC has contributed that amount im sure the combined amounts of "lost" BTC will be high and are unrecoverable...
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July 15, 2015, 02:30:48 PM
 #36

And I mean really, really lost.
A lot of people can't remember their passwords after 4 minutes since they set it up.
But apart this, there's several ways bitcoins can get lost, like in example if you have a wallet on a USB key and this breaks and you have no cold backup.

This will inevitably bring, in the future, to less than those 21 million cap.
And they WILL keep going down.

Is there a plan to reintegrate them?

I myself am responsible for atleast 5-10BTC out floating in wallets that are basically unrecoverable, some was just deleting the wallet or throwing out the old computer with BTC wallet that still had some on it (at the time a couple BTC was basically worthless and i didnt see any reason to keep it) another way i lost lil over 2BTC was when i bought some from ATM and had them sent to my phone wallet (which was not backed up) then the phone got left on side of highway while changing a tire since i used my phone for flashlight (those were actually worth keeping) but ya if just me 1 user of BTC has contributed that amount im sure the combined amounts of "lost" BTC will be high and are unrecoverable...
Perfect example of why lost btc should never be replaced, although JLynn171 has unfortunally lost his phone with 2btc on it nobody can prove that someone else didn't pick up the phone and swipe the btc to there own cold wallet.
Sure the coins could be marked but they could move.
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July 15, 2015, 02:35:41 PM
 #37


So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.
Could someone please explain how this address works?
I imagine that it's just a btc address that is guaranteed some how that the private keys have been distroyed, but are the coins still sitting in that wallet/address and could anyone ever hack it to steal the coins?

i think it's a joke man, that address does not exist lol, but i guess someone could customize it with some tools


i don't know if this is what he meant or even this was in his mind when he posted the top comment but there is an address that only eats bitcoins and in fact destroys them:
https://blockchain.info/address/1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE

this address is without private keys so if you send to that address the coins will be lost forever!

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July 15, 2015, 02:42:03 PM
 #38

And I mean really, really lost.
A lot of people can't remember their passwords after 4 minutes since they set it up.
But apart this, there's several ways bitcoins can get lost, like in example if you have a wallet on a USB key and this breaks and you have no cold backup.

This will inevitably bring, in the future, to less than those 21 million cap.
And they WILL keep going down.

Is there a plan to reintegrate them?

I myself am responsible for atleast 5-10BTC out floating in wallets that are basically unrecoverable, some was just deleting the wallet or throwing out the old computer with BTC wallet that still had some on it (at the time a couple BTC was basically worthless and i didnt see any reason to keep it) another way i lost lil over 2BTC was when i bought some from ATM and had them sent to my phone wallet (which was not backed up) then the phone got left on side of highway while changing a tire since i used my phone for flashlight (those were actually worth keeping) but ya if just me 1 user of BTC has contributed that amount im sure the combined amounts of "lost" BTC will be high and are unrecoverable...
Perfect example of why lost btc should never be replaced, although JLynn171 has unfortunally lost his phone with 2btc on it nobody can prove that someone else didn't pick up the phone and swipe the btc to there own cold wallet.
Sure the coins could be marked but they could move.

and how pissed off would the guy who bought coins 2 years ago and is waiting for 3-4 years before cashing out his investment and just letting them sit there if they were "declared lost" then put back into circulation through act of mining... they would be stealing... once a coin is mined it is sent out to anonymousville to live forever and to be passed around or sit in a wallet or just thrown away...
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July 15, 2015, 03:01:41 PM
 #39


So, unless people intentionally sent coins to 1DontSentHereCoz1tsGone4Ever they cannot prove that they are telling the truth or don't have any backups.
Could someone please explain how this address works?
I imagine that it's just a btc address that is guaranteed some how that the private keys have been distroyed, but are the coins still sitting in that wallet/address and could anyone ever hack it to steal the coins?

i think it's a joke man, that address does not exist lol, but i guess someone could customize it with some tools


i don't know if this is what he meant or even this was in his mind when he posted the top comment but there is an address that only eats bitcoins and in fact destroys them:
https://blockchain.info/address/1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE

this address is without private keys so if you send to that address the coins will be lost forever!

i didn't know that this was possible, you always learn something new each day, i've read online that you can do it with electrum seedless wallets or electrum pos system

or they just have hidden the private key in some way?
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July 15, 2015, 03:02:03 PM
 #40

Remember that 21 million is a completely arbitrary number. Bitcoin would work as designed even if there were only 1 bitcoin. Right now we can divide BTC out to 8 decimal places. If we moved to 9 we move an order of magnitude. This is easy to do and solves any shortage of bitcoin supply.
As mentioned above by several posters, any attempt to "re-mine" those coins should be outright rejected. Who will determine what a "lost" coin is? How would you know if my coins are lost or in cold storage? After you re-mine coins then someone shows up and says "I found my coins!", who's coins are now the real coins? Are you going to replace the found coins, and with what coins are you replacing them? And under what authority can you render some coins unusable?
If the 21M cap is ever lifted I would divest at least 50% of my BTC and I would assume the project is now dead. A strict, unchangeable cap is one of the most powerful features of BTC. Without it you basically own benie babies or tulips.  

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