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Question: What's your best estimate of total the number of coins that have been lost ?
>1m - 8 (30.8%)
500k-1m - 4 (15.4%)
250k-500k - 4 (15.4%)
100K-250K - 4 (15.4%)
<100k - 6 (23.1%)
Total Voters: 26

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Author Topic: Number of bitcoins lost forever  (Read 1131 times)
bitconic
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April 12, 2013, 03:02:39 AM
 #1

I have seen wide ranging estimates of this, and I think it's a very important question to study the bitcoin economy. A few public cases have been reported of large sums of bitcoin lost due to hardware malfunction, lost keys, etc . I assume a good chuck of the coins from the early days of mining have been lost. For instance when you look up the first 1000+ blocks a lot of the 50btc that were mined are still in the same addresses (most of them are different)  , I would assume these are lost ? unless you think they are  just dormant waiting on Satoshi to awaken hi master wallet ....
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Mike Christ
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April 12, 2013, 03:08:17 AM
 #2

It's really hard to peg, as you said; there's just no way to really know.  For informational purposes, we can assume wallets which havn't activity for years are lost, but that says nothing of wallets lost recently...

I'm guessing it's a big number, tho.  It's just never going to be 21,000,000.

vipah
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April 12, 2013, 03:37:51 AM
 #3

I know a few people myself who've lost several hundred in HD wipes.  So yeah the number is probably significant.
aysyr
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April 12, 2013, 03:42:58 AM
 #4

I started mining in October and I reformatted my PC a few weeks after I started... I wasn't all that serious about it yet and forgot to back it up. Lost a couple hundred lol. Wonder if some sudden loss in thousands of bitcoins will ever happen to bump up the prices

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Shaban
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April 12, 2013, 03:54:50 AM
 #5

I have a feeling this is a reason why bitcoins will never work... People can easily lose their coins. So that 21 million isn't going to hold up. Even if 1 million is lost, that would have a huge impact on Bitcoins. Litecoins also... they shouldn't have a certain cap at how much can be mined. They should be able to control it, make the mining easy when more are needed in the economy, and make mining difficult when it's not needed.

Also, credit cards/debit cards that ran off Bitcoins would be a plus
Mike Christ
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April 12, 2013, 03:59:52 AM
 #6

I have a feeling this is a reason why bitcoins will never work... People can easily lose their coins. So that 21 million isn't going to hold up. Even if 1 million is lost, that would have a huge impact on Bitcoins. Litecoins also... they shouldn't have a certain cap at how much can be mined. They should be able to control it, make the mining easy when more are needed in the economy, and make mining difficult when it's not needed.

Also, credit cards/debit cards that ran off Bitcoins would be a plus

Naw, Bitcoins will work.  Even if we're trading with one bitcoin with millions of decimal places, we'll be okay.

Shaban
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April 12, 2013, 04:05:14 AM
 #7

Who would want to say "this item costs 0.0000000001 bitcoin" compared to "this costs a dollar"? No one.

So no, people do not want to deal with decimal points. They like dealing with whole numbers. I'd like to see someone go to a bank and request $0.00023 dollars. lol
ADRK
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April 12, 2013, 04:07:16 AM
 #8

I'm guessing a lot of future losses will be attributed to Android wallets. Phones are pretty easy to misplace....
cryptofunz
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April 12, 2013, 04:07:32 AM
 #9

You know that everybody can say 0.0000000001 is new 1 and it will work?

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Mike Christ
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April 12, 2013, 04:09:02 AM
 #10

Who would want to say "this item costs 0.0000000001 bitcoin" compared to "this costs a dollar"? No one.

So no, people do not want to deal with decimal points. They like dealing with whole numbers. I'd like to see someone go to a bank and request $0.00023 dollars. lol

This isn't the dollar, bub Grin  And besides, they're completely different.  $.00023 will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, be worth the dirt on your feet.  A single Bitcoin encompasses tens, to hundreds of dollars.  A fraction of a fraction of a Bitcoin is equal to a dollar.

People would call it something different if it came to that.  You seem very sure of yourself for someone who shouldn't be.  Besides, there's no way we'd whittle down to 1 BTC considering the last Bitcoin will be minted sometime after you're dead.  Nobody's gonna lose all 21 million coins, I guarantee it.

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April 12, 2013, 04:09:29 AM
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You know that everybody can say 0.0000000001 is new 1 and it will work?

Worked in reverse for the Weimar Wink
Shaban
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April 12, 2013, 04:12:17 AM
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You know that everybody can say 0.0000000001 is new 1 and it will work?

When you go to a bank with a $1.00 dollar bill. They enter it into their system as $1.00. Say we call 0.0000000001 BTC, "1", if you take it to a bank, you hand them "1" and in their system it would still be entered 0.00000000001 BTC.

That can lead to a ton of manipulation. "Yes sir, you gave me 1, but the price of 1 has changed from 0.0000000001 to 0.00000000000000001"

$1.00 = $1.00
1BTC =/= 0.0000000001 BTC
Numberless
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April 12, 2013, 04:16:17 AM
 #13

I like how no one's mentioned that 0.00000000001 BTC can't even be formed.  That's a fraction of a satoshi  Roll Eyes
Mike Christ
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April 12, 2013, 04:17:21 AM
 #14

You know that everybody can say 0.0000000001 is new 1 and it will work?

When you go to a bank with a $1.00 dollar bill. They enter it into their system as $1.00. Say we call 0.0000000001 BTC, "1", if you take it to a bank, you hand them "1" and in their system it would still be entered 0.00000000001 BTC.

That can lead to a ton of manipulation. "Yes sir, you gave me 1, but the price of 1 has changed from 0.0000000001 to 0.00000000000000001"

$1.00 = $1.00
1BTC =/= 0.0000000001 BTC

Try manipulating the price without holding 51% percent network hashing power.  This isn't the bank, either Wink  You can attempt to lie about what 1 BTC is worth, but if none of the other BTC users agree with you, you're SoL.  

You should probably do your research.  You don't seem to quite understand how this works.

I like how no one's mentioned that 0.00000000001 BTC can't even be formed.  That's a fraction of a satoshi  Roll Eyes

You're right, but the number of decimal places can also be changed Tongue  This would be at a point where 1 satoshi would be approaching a cent.

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April 12, 2013, 04:20:34 AM
 #15

I lost about 30 btc due to a broken key... Kind of wishing I stored it somewhere else...
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April 12, 2013, 04:33:34 AM
 #16

Who would want to say "this item costs 0.0000000001 bitcoin" compared to "this costs a dollar"? No one.

So no, people do not want to deal with decimal points. They like dealing with whole numbers. I'd like to see someone go to a bank and request $0.00023 dollars. lol

Shaban, you are exaggerating and it makes you look stupid. A gallon of gas costs $3.689 and a first-class postage stamp costs $0.46. Now, what were you saying?

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April 12, 2013, 05:00:02 AM
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Who would want to say "this item costs 0.0000000001 bitcoin" compared to "this costs a dollar"? No one.

So no, people do not want to deal with decimal points. They like dealing with whole numbers. I'd like to see someone go to a bank and request $0.00023 dollars. lol

This isn't the dollar, bub Grin  And besides, they're completely different.  $.00023 will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, be worth the dirt on your feet.  A single Bitcoin encompasses tens, to hundreds of dollars.  A fraction of a fraction of a Bitcoin is equal to a dollar.

People would call it something different if it came to that.  You seem very sure of yourself for someone who shouldn't be.  Besides, there's no way we'd whittle down to 1 BTC considering the last Bitcoin will be minted sometime after you're dead.  Nobody's gonna lose all 21 million coins, I guarantee it.


And if the fed's decide to disallow any official merchant trading it BTC, due to fear of fraud or manipulation? Whats the value of those bitcoins then? Or suppose the internet gets wiped out, massive virus, large hardware malfunction or server wipes. BTC seems to be a risky business.

droog
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April 12, 2013, 05:15:57 AM
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Who would want to say "this item costs 0.0000000001 bitcoin" compared to "this costs a dollar"? No one.

So no, people do not want to deal with decimal points. They like dealing with whole numbers. I'd like to see someone go to a bank and request $0.00023 dollars. lol

This isn't the dollar, bub Grin  And besides, they're completely different.  $.00023 will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, be worth the dirt on your feet.  A single Bitcoin encompasses tens, to hundreds of dollars.  A fraction of a fraction of a Bitcoin is equal to a dollar.

People would call it something different if it came to that.  You seem very sure of yourself for someone who shouldn't be.  Besides, there's no way we'd whittle down to 1 BTC considering the last Bitcoin will be minted sometime after you're dead.  Nobody's gonna lose all 21 million coins, I guarantee it.


And if the fed's decide to disallow any official merchant trading it BTC, due to fear of fraud or manipulation? Whats the value of those bitcoins then? Or suppose the internet gets wiped out, massive virus, large hardware malfunction or server wipes. BTC seems to be a risky business.



Even if it became illegal (or over-regulated to the point of near uselessness), there would still be an underground market for it.  Until something better came along, anyway.  Currencies come and go all the time.
DUId1
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April 12, 2013, 05:21:03 AM
 #19

A significant number of coins are lost for sure.
Rolande
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April 12, 2013, 05:21:40 AM
 #20

Hopefully taking the proper precautions can protect large investors from hardware malfunctions!
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