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Author Topic: What about those bitcoins that are LOST?  (Read 3565 times)
xmasdobo
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July 15, 2015, 03:14:03 PM
 #41

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.  
And this is why prices that now are considered ridiculous like 1 million per BTC are completely possible and reasonable to happen in the future. The system CAN handle it.
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ausbit
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July 15, 2015, 03:14:29 PM
 #42


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!
Exactly the address i was thinking about, thank you Herbert2020  Smiley
Now when you say this address has no private keys what do you mean.
Was this address created without private keys? (If even possible)
Or were the private keys just destroyed to this address, if so who did and or approved this?
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July 15, 2015, 04:49:36 PM
 #43

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.

i presume that the impact would be very low on the market, do not expect an huge rise in demand only because 30% of coins are lost, people simply will buy less one whole btc and more satoshi or bits

Not like that.
In a possible future that we all are hoping, Bitcoins will be a used everywhere by everyone.
There will actually be scarcity of them.
People won't BUY bitcoins: they will USE them and EARN them with their work (until AI and robotics will take all of that...).

Yeah but it will take time for the scarcity as the majority of the population is not aware about the bitcoins but in future when bitcoin gets into the mainstream people would not be able to buy them but those who will be holding great number of bitcoins can earn a good profit by selling it.
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July 15, 2015, 05:02:47 PM
 #44

Someone is probably watching his BTC wallet right infront of him and he does not know the password.

Let me know if you want to earn BTC.
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July 15, 2015, 06:21:41 PM
 #45

For sure, a fully minted bitcoin will not consist of 21 mil but has anyone done some serious calculation and estimation on how many bitcoins is accessible out there of those mined? I regularly get rid of wallets with just a few satoshi's to keep the Multibit neat. Then we have Gox - and Mr. Nakamoto's premine which probably never will be used.
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July 15, 2015, 06:49:26 PM
 #46

For sure, a fully minted bitcoin will not consist of 21 mil but has anyone done some serious calculation and estimation on how many bitcoins is accessible out there of those mined? I regularly get rid of wallets with just a few satoshi's to keep the Multibit neat. Then we have Gox - and Mr. Nakamoto's premine which probably never will be used.

gox ? stolen coins are not lost ,theyre just no longer property of their original owner
i dont see any reason to believe the gox fortune has been burned forever and will never be cashed /traded /spent

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July 15, 2015, 07:11:37 PM
 #47

http://www.coinbuzz.com/2015/03/31/23-bitcoins-mined-13-may-lost/
"Bitcoins can be lost due to irrecoverable passwords, forgotten wallets from when Bitcoin was worth little, from hardware failure or because of the death of the bitcoin owner. It’s extremely improbable and effectively impossible to recover lost coins. At press times the total value of lost bitcoins is roughly $1.23 billion USD.  Shocked
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July 15, 2015, 07:16:41 PM
 #48

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?

There is no way to prove that a coin is lost, unless it was send to a burn address.. Most coins that are lost therefore, are not really lost, only forgotten. Reclaiming those would be like creating double coins.
It definitely would be and then the 21m cap would be broken. The cap needs to be one of the things that never changes with Bitcoin.

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July 16, 2015, 07:52:45 AM
 #49

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?

Exactly the address i was thinking about, thank you Herbert2020  Smiley
Now when you say this address has no private keys what do you mean.
Was this address created without private keys? (If even possible)
Or were the private keys just destroyed to this address, if so who did and or approved this?

creating an address with that many custom characters (BitcoinEaterAddressDontSend) is impossible.
check out vanity address for more info. it is proximately like this :
creating with 3 custom characters take less than a minute and 4 takes half an hour and more becomes exponentially harder until impossible.

so that address 1BitcoinEaterAddressDontSendf59kuE is impossible to have private keys.
but creating such address is very well possible:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=973998.0
but it is useless since you can never spend the coins!!

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July 16, 2015, 10:10:19 AM
 #50

Lost coins are actually good for the bitcoin in general. Satoshi once said that lost coins only make everyone else's coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.
So this is not a problem, there is no need for 'recreate' initiatives, because it would not be wise imo.

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.

Now, of course this is an utopian scenario, but it still is a POSSIBLE scenario, and one that we all hope will be one day reached.
Sure there's alternatives out there: Litecoin could come into play as THE alternative for everyday transactions, it also has a much higher cap, it would be the silver of cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin could be the gold.
But still: each Bitcoin or Satoshi lost, in a scenario where all Bitcoins are used, would represent a failure when granularity is not enough.

Dang. If that were to come to pass, we would all be multi-millionaires.
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July 16, 2015, 10:21:46 AM
 #51


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.

All you do is send it to a random public key hash. As long as the bitcoin network accepts it as a valid address, the transaction will go through and no one will ever be able to guess the private key.
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July 16, 2015, 10:25:36 AM
 #52


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?

There is a private key, it's just the same as with any other address... nobody is ever going to be able to guess it. The fact that the address is so specific and not random numbers and letters means that no one actually generated that address from a private key.
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July 16, 2015, 10:31:29 AM
 #53

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.  
And this is why prices that now are considered ridiculous like 1 million per BTC are completely possible and reasonable to happen in the future. The system CAN handle it.

The question I have is if it is completely reasonable for BTC to reach $1 million (and I believe it is), why is the price so low? Banks, institutions, investors, hedge funds, venture capital, etc. should be buying up BTC like there's no tomorrow. I guess they just think it's still too risky? But plenty of businesses are already accepting and using BTC. We are long past proof of concept. The only possible tweaks that still need to occur are in security (exchanges & business, not the network itself) and ease of use.
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July 16, 2015, 11:11:19 AM
 #54

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.

i presume that the impact would be very low on the market, do not expect an huge rise in demand only because 30% of coins are lost, people simply will buy less one whole btc and more satoshi or bits

Not like that.
In a possible future that we all are hoping, Bitcoins will be a used everywhere by everyone.
There will actually be scarcity of them.
People won't BUY bitcoins: they will USE them and EARN them with their work (until AI and robotics will take all of that...).

Yeah but it will take time for the scarcity as the majority of the population is not aware about the bitcoins but in future when bitcoin gets into the mainstream people would not be able to buy them but those who will be holding great number of bitcoins can earn a good profit by selling it.

If it doesn't already exist, someone needs to invent an easy way to top up smartphone wallets directly from your back account. It seems to me that if this were as easy as putting in the amount you wanted to transfer to your wallet, adoption would happen quickly.
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July 16, 2015, 01:08:39 PM
 #55

The question I have is if it is completely reasonable for BTC to reach $1 million (and I believe it is), why is the price so low? Banks, institutions, investors, hedge funds, venture capital, etc. should be buying up BTC like there's no tomorrow. I guess they just think it's still too risky? But plenty of businesses are already accepting and using BTC. We are long past proof of concept. The only possible tweaks that still need to occur are in security (exchanges & business, not the network itself) and ease of use.

My guess would be that your theory is spot on. We talk about super high values for bitcoin, but banks and hedge funds are very rational actors and are far more interested in a sure fire 2% bond than an extremely risky unknown currency asset. As much as I believe in bitcoin I would not vote to include it in a managed portfolio if I were on the board. Perhaps I could be convinced to go 0.1%, but anything else could be argued to be a failure of fiduciary responsibility. If it tanks, the whole board could be sued for this.

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July 16, 2015, 01:17:30 PM
 #56

Maybe OP would be interested in this thread:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1097562.0;topicseen
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July 16, 2015, 01:26:49 PM
 #57

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?

the bitcoin lost forever do nothing but increase the rarity 'of those remaining, since you can use the satoshi, do not see why should be reinstated

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July 16, 2015, 06:31:13 PM
 #58

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?
At the moment, not. but It's just a consensus thing, and could "easily " be changed.

The divisibility of Bitcoins is how the lost coins problem is handled.
In short the money supply can be expanded by having the value of Bitcoin increase such that people will be urged to spend/sell to those the increasing demand.
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July 17, 2015, 10:53:16 PM
 #59

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?
At the moment, not. but It's just a consensus thing, and could "easily " be changed.

The divisibility of Bitcoins is how the lost coins problem is handled.
In short the money supply can be expanded by having the value of Bitcoin increase such that people will be urged to spend/sell to those the increasing demand.

I would NEVER agree to the 21M cap being raised and neither would anyone else who currently owns any btc
as it would signifigantlly devalue any benefits of being an early adopter and believer in this technology

To raise the cap to something like 21Billion for the saker of argument  would make every coin worth 10 times less
how would the winklevoss twins and other large holders feel about that ? consensus lol ......i doubt it

people have also invested x amount  because there will be a signifigant reward  halving  in 2016 and and the next one after that
when a steep  rise in value is predicted ,to start monkeying arounnd with the coin supply now would just cause people to lose faith all together
since thats equivalent to irresponsible  governments printing cash from fresh air  now  etc etc
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July 19, 2015, 11:32:15 PM
 #60

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?
At the moment, not. but It's just a consensus thing, and could "easily " be changed.

The divisibility of Bitcoins is how the lost coins problem is handled.
In short the money supply can be expanded by having the value of Bitcoin increase such that people will be urged to spend/sell to those the increasing demand.

I would NEVER agree to the 21M cap being raised and neither would anyone else who currently owns any btc
as it would signifigantlly devalue any benefits of being an early adopter and believer in this technology

To raise the cap to something like 21Billion for the saker of argument  would make every coin worth 10 times less
how would the winklevoss twins and other large holders feel about that ? consensus lol ......i doubt it

people have also invested x amount  because there will be a signifigant reward  halving  in 2016 and and the next one after that
when a steep  rise in value is predicted ,to start monkeying arounnd with the coin supply now would just cause people to lose faith all together
since thats equivalent to irresponsible  governments printing cash from fresh air  now  etc etc

It could also happen just with a general consensus democratically, but that is also unlikely since the 21M limit is held as a pretty core belief by most Bitcoin users currently.
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