Bitcoin Forum
June 20, 2019, 04:46:55 PM *
News: Latest Bitcoin Core release: 0.18.0 [Torrent] (New!)
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register More  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Rise of the Zombie Bitcoins  (Read 338 times)
galdur
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 616
Merit: 500



View Profile
April 10, 2016, 10:22:40 PM
 #1

This interesting article is from 2014, I wonder if there has been an update since then on lost bitcoins...

Rise of the Zombie Bitcoins

Published on June 22nd, 2014 by   John W. Ratcliff

excerpt

....Will Power and Zombie Coins
For the purposes of this article a ‘zombie bitcoin’ is defined as all bitcoins associated with a public key address which has had no send transactions for over 18 months.  Why 18 months?  Because today bitcoins are worth about $600 apiece, and back in December of 2013 they were worth over $1,000 apiece.  Anyone who owned bitcoins prior to 18 months ago would have acquired them at a maximum cost basis of probably about $30, and that is estimating very high.  Much more likely most had a cost basis of under $10, and the average overall is well under $1.  You would need to have incredible willpower to resist a 4,000% or even astronomically higher return on an investment.  When we look at the history of these zombie coins, it turns out, that many people succumbed to their desire to cash out and they did indeed rise from the dead.  As the price of bitcoin rises, the number of ‘zombie’ bitcoins outstanding declines over time.  Each time there is a price rise, we can see it shake loose more zombies as they re-enter the active economy. 

Over time a trend develops, fewer and fewer bicoins rise from the dead and those that remain appear ‘stuck’ and unchanged.  At this time all of the outstanding early bitcoin mined blocks have almost completely flat-lined and are unchanged regardless of what happens with the price.  It is extremely important to understand that, for the purposes of this analysis, bitcoins are considered ‘alive’ based on any spend transaction no matter how small.  This means that if a person owns a thousand bitcoins that cost them $1 apiece and they then sell just one of those bitcoins; maybe to buy a coat at Overstock.com, or maybe they want to move it to a different wallet, then this action marks all one thousand of the bitcoins associated with that public key as being ‘alive’ even if they are the results of many outputs.  For bitcoins to be considered ‘zombie’ coins, it means that they are 100% absolutely untouched in any way whatsoever for over 18 months. 

While there may be plenty of people who ‘got in on bitcoin early’ over a year and a half ago when the price was a fraction of what it is today and these people are still holding out for even greater returns, one would expect many of them to at least cash out ‘a little bit’ for some fun.  Realize that any ‘spend’ transaction demonstrates that the individual is in active control of that private key.  We don’t care whether or not they are still sitting on a lot of potential profit, what we are trying to determine is which bitcoins are irrevocably lost forever and to do that involves determining whether or not anyone has access to the private key needed to move or spend those bitcoins.... much, much more

https://letstalkbitcoin.com/blog/post/rise-of-the-zombie-bitcoins


1561049215
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1561049215

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1561049215
Reply with quote  #2

1561049215
Report to moderator
Try The Brand New Ethereum Game
50 Last Players Also Win The Bank
Works On Any iOS/Android Device With Standard Browser
Join Us On Telegram To Get Notified When You Can Win
COLOR PIXELS
AND WIN
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1561049215
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1561049215

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1561049215
Reply with quote  #2

1561049215
Report to moderator
Yakamoto
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1204
Merit: 1007


Free Crypto in Stake.com Telegram t.me/StakeCasino


View Profile
April 10, 2016, 10:52:09 PM
 #2

There has probably been no update, the coins are lost or someone is really, really intend on holding them.

Once Bitcoins are technically "lost", they are lost, and unless someone is really lucky, there is nearly no chance they can retrieve them.

galdur
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 616
Merit: 500



View Profile
April 10, 2016, 10:59:31 PM
 #3

Fascinating...

The Blockchain Begins
Let us take, as a case in point, the first bitcoin transaction ever performed in history, which corresponds to the first ever mined bitcoin block by the infamous ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.  Here is a link to that transaction.  This very first transaction, which was the result of a newly mined bitcoin block (known as a ‘coinbase’ transaction), went to the following public key address:  1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa

If you follow that link you will see that, lo and behold, there are 908 bitcoin transactions associated with that address!  However, all of these are the result of random people on the Internet making donations (probably better described as ‘offerings’ to their lord and savior Satoshi).  You will see that not a single spend transaction has ever been performed from this public key.

Now, let us take a look at the second bitcoin transaction in history.  Six days later Satoshi mined another bitcoin block and received yet another 50 bitcoin reward worth, at the time nothing, but worth today about $30,000 USD.  Here is the link.  These 50 bitcoins were sent to a different public key address: 12c6DSiU4Rq3P4ZxziKxzrL5LmMBrzjrJX.  If you follow that link you will see that this address has received only 13 transactions since people were a little less excited about the second block than they were the first.

The third bitcoin mined block corresponds to this transaction and this public key address.  This block was mined on January 9, 2009 and then, much later, on August 25, 2013, some generous soul decided to throw 0.1 bitcoins to Satoshi (about $60 today).

Finally, at block number four (this transaction) we find that no one has ever offered up a donation to Satoshi to the following public key address.

And this continues for block #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and so on and so on.  Every ten minutes for the next couple of years bitcoin blocks were mined, sent to a new public key address, and then never, ever, ever, spent.  They sit there still just waiting.  The vast majority of all of these bitcoins were likely mined by Satoshi Nakamoto himself.  However, others were mined by people who downloaded and played with the software.  Many curious technologists probably installed the mining software when it could still run on a CPU and just let it run for a while to see what the whole thing was about.  Then they deleted it or otherwise have long since lost the hard drive or the machine which mined those bitcoins.  It is important to remember that, for the first two years, bitcoins were nearly worthless.  Here is a graph of the market price of bitcoin throughout its history.  As you can see, it took until January of 2011 for a single bitcoin to be ‘worth’ even one dollar.

So, the big question remains, what about all of those bitcoins which were mined up until that point?  Where are they?  What happened to them?  How many are there?  Do they still exist or are they lost forever?  What about the Zombie bitcoins?  Will they rise from the dead to destroy the bitcoin economy and market, or are they lost forever?

We can answer some of these questions, like how many bitcoins should be considered ‘zombie’ coins, and we can make some educated guesses as well.  The fact remains that approximately 30% of all bitcoins in existence are ‘zombie coins’, untouched for over a year and a half and likely lost forever.  If you remove 30% of all bitcoins as having any chance of ever influencing the economy, this changes an awful lot of assumptions people make when they evaluate the market.  Likewise, if these bitcoins were ever to rise from the dead, they could wreak havoc on the marketplace and cause an enormous amount of disruption.

Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!