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Author Topic: What happens to all the BTC that people lose the keys to?  (Read 1418 times)
fan_of_things_and_stuff
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May 28, 2017, 07:42:46 PM
 #1

I would imagine that there is plenty of BTC that was mined/purchased a long time ago that people have either lost the key pair for, or lost the password to whatever wallet they stored it in. TBH I don't know what happens to "regular" money when it is stored in online accounts that get lost, but does anyone know if there is some kind of procedure for recycling long-lost-cryotocoins?
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May 28, 2017, 07:46:19 PM
 #2

No. Without the private key all the coins from that wallet are inaccessible. That means they are gone, and there is no automatic method of recycling.
The only way possible to recover those Bitcoins without the private key would be doing a hard fork in the blockchain.

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May 28, 2017, 07:56:40 PM
 #3

While those BTC that were left on the exchange will have to adjust on whatever the exchange terms and agreement about lost passwords, or inactive accounts with balance on it.  Mostly, it will be kept by the owner of the exchange.  While those that lost private key will be inaccessible.

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May 28, 2017, 07:59:02 PM
 #4

No, it'd mean a huge issue if someone could recycle them. Looking at the bright side, those Bitcoins will never be exchanged, therefore increase the value of your active Bitcoins. But you've to keep your private keys very secure.

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May 28, 2017, 08:00:44 PM
 #5

No. Without the private key all the coins from that wallet are inaccessible. That means they are gone, and there is no automatic method of recycling.
The only way possible to recover those Bitcoins without the private key would be doing a hard fork in the blockchain.

Do you think that would eventually be something BTC will do to try to recover from a time when people maybe didn't pay as close attention to their BTC as the should have? I know back in the day I was too unfamiliar with crypto and digital currency to even dabble in it (stupid younger self!), but I know plenty of people who have told stories of how they got some amount of BTC either through mining or an exchange just out of curiosity and then forgot about it for years. Now that its actually worth something I bet they would love to be able to get it back, and although I know they can't I wonder if that is unhealthy for the BTC ecosystem

Though I'm no expert I would think thats a bad thing for the value and sustainability of BTC/other currencies
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May 28, 2017, 08:13:08 PM
 #6

No. Without the private key all the coins from that wallet are inaccessible. That means they are gone, and there is no automatic method of recycling.
The only way possible to recover those Bitcoins without the private key would be doing a hard fork in the blockchain.

Do you think that would eventually be something BTC will do to try to recover from a time when people maybe didn't pay as close attention to their BTC as the should have? I know back in the day I was too unfamiliar with crypto and digital currency to even dabble in it (stupid younger self!), but I know plenty of people who have told stories of how they got some amount of BTC either through mining or an exchange just out of curiosity and then forgot about it for years. Now that its actually worth something I bet they would love to be able to get it back, and although I know they can't I wonder if that is unhealthy for the BTC ecosystem

Though I'm no expert I would think thats a bad thing for the value and sustainability of BTC/other currencies
I do not think there would ever be a plan to recover people's lost Bitcoins for some simple reasons:

1 - It is impossible to confirm someone's ownership over any Bitcoin wallet without them having access to private key.
2 - This would put at stake the trust of Bitcoin as a decentralized payment method and free from the control of individuals. If someone can take control of certain Bitcoins without actually owning them, what keeps them from doing the same with mine?
3 - A smaller number of Bitcoins in circulation may be good for the ecosystem, by reducing the amount of coins, we reduce the inflation.

This same type of discussion is being made in the post "Coins of Satoshi" if you wanna check out. Link: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1924762.0

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May 28, 2017, 08:13:48 PM
 #7

I would imagine that there is plenty of BTC that was mined/purchased a long time ago that people have either lost the key pair for, or lost the password to whatever wallet they stored it in. TBH I don't know what happens to "regular" money when it is stored in online accounts that get lost, but does anyone know if there is some kind of procedure for recycling long-lost-cryotocoins?
I think these coins with lost keys in the wallet will go nowhere but will be present on the exchange...
I guess it is something inaccessible even after knowing that the account is not active anymore. There maybe a chance of it being used or withdrawn by the exchange experts, I am not sure about it but just guessing..

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May 28, 2017, 08:21:11 PM
 #8

I would imagine that there is plenty of BTC that was mined/purchased a long time ago that people have either lost the key pair for, or lost the password to whatever wallet they stored it in. TBH I don't know what happens to "regular" money when it is stored in online accounts that get lost, but does anyone know if there is some kind of procedure for recycling long-lost-cryotocoins?

They are lost forever and it's impossible to create any fair mechanism of retrieving them, because you can't easily tie bitcoin addresses to a person, so you can't check if the owner has died or lost his keys, or maybe simply hodling since 2009. But you shouldn't be worried, because even though there is only 21 million of Bitcoins, each Bitcoin can be split into 100 000 000 satoshi, and this means we'll never run out of currency.

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May 28, 2017, 08:37:30 PM
 #9

I would imagine that there is plenty of BTC that was mined/purchased a long time ago that people have either lost the key pair for, or lost the password to whatever wallet they stored it in. TBH I don't know what happens to "regular" money when it is stored in online accounts that get lost, but does anyone know if there is some kind of procedure for recycling long-lost-cryotocoins?
They are kept on the accounts for many years, in case someone came to collect. It doesn't cost the bank anything as the money are not technically there, they just keep the records in their database. If yose your private key, the address becomes inaccessible and coins lost forever. We don't know how many coins are lost, but it's surely a large number. I'm quite sure by the time we reach 21M mined coins at least 10% will be lost forever due to hardware failures, people dying, or being struck with permanent brain damage.

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May 28, 2017, 08:50:25 PM
 #10

Basically, they are lost forever.

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Sundark
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May 28, 2017, 08:59:38 PM
 #11

Basically, they are lost forever.
This is how it should be, and this will make everyone else's coin worth slight more in the end - satoshi said that himself.

When you die and you left your fiat money on your bank account after certain period of time bank will grab that money.

It's nothing but normal thievery, with bitcoin you either need to make sure your friends and family know about your stash or coins will be lost forever.
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May 28, 2017, 09:18:49 PM
 #12

Gone! Lost forever!! And nothing can be done unless the owners get their keys to access it back. It’s extremely improbable, and effectively impossible to recover lost coins. This is what the security of Bitcoin is actually based on. If you’ve lost your private key, the system is so secure that you may not be able to recover it.

Most people lost their coins when Bitcoin had little or close to no value but now, obviously the rate of lost coins will reduce as people are so much more careful about how it is stored.

This made me recall the case of James Howells I read in an article who tossed a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins, which he had mined back when they were worth very little. Now with bitcoin's worth, the drive should be worth $15 million but unfortunately for him, it’s too late to recover the drive from the dump and without it, it is gone.
So many other people like that. I wish satoshi will just randomly distribute all this lost coins, so I can have some of it Grin but how will he know when you can't even differentiate lost coins from people who are storing it?

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May 28, 2017, 09:34:00 PM
 #13

I understand that you are wanted or who are going to imagine. In this world, everyone must have had the same thoughts as you. But unfortunately, all of that is very difficult to do if indeed we made a mistake by not storing the keys to prove that it was our account. So, you should indeed start now you keep the key for opening your account if a while experiencing it. Experts already can not be duped again, they will give strict terms to anyone that's been losing money in the wallet online.
 



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May 28, 2017, 09:52:02 PM
 #14

Gone! Lost forever!! And nothing can be done unless the owners get their keys to access it back. It’s extremely improbable, and effectively impossible to recover lost coins. This is what the security of Bitcoin is actually based on. If you’ve lost your private key, the system is so secure that you may not be able to recover it.

Most people lost their coins when Bitcoin had little or close to no value but now, obviously the rate of lost coins will reduce as people are so much more careful about how it is stored.

This made me recall the case of James Howells who inadvertently tossed a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins, which he had mined back when they were worth very little. Now that a bitcoin is worth somewhere around $2000, that drive has an estimated worth of $15 million. But unfortunately for Howells, an IT worker, city workers say it’s too late for him to recover the drive from the dump and without it, it is gone. So many other people like that. I wish satoshi will just randomly distribute all this lost coins, so I can have some of it Grin but how will he know when you can't even differentiate lost coins from people who are storing it?


That is right, there are no way we can get those bitcoins to accessible again, you can say it is wasted, left behind. And I think, not only those will be accessible to people, there are many happenings in history where bitcoin is mined and confiscated. Satoshi was said that he mined a million bitcoin before giving up the position to Gavin as the head of development. What happened to that million bitcoins? And there are many incidents that the police conphiscated bitcoins, I think there are a lot of inaccessible bitcoins in the past.



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May 28, 2017, 09:55:32 PM
 #15

Those cins are permament store of wealth for others since their coins where burned.
If someoday  people will find way to decode those keys maybe we will have changce to see some more BTC but this is mostly impossible.

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May 28, 2017, 11:05:47 PM
 #16

I would imagine that there is plenty of BTC that was mined/purchased a long time ago that people have either lost the key pair for, or lost the password to whatever wallet they stored it in. TBH I don't know what happens to "regular" money when it is stored in online accounts that get lost, but does anyone know if there is some kind of procedure for recycling long-lost-cryotocoins?

Dead we call them burned coins, unless someone can hack the private key which is not likely otherwise Bitcoin would not be secure.
Even if they get the 1st key from the sending of transaction to the same account the second key is not revealed.
A true burned coin sends Bitcoin to an address that doesn't have any key pairs while lost ones do but will not be found anytime soon so they can be treated the same.

(Recycled into the banking system after years of announcing unclaimed balances)
Cryptocoins still exist but not included in active money supply think Satoshis coins.
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May 29, 2017, 02:16:40 AM
 #17

This made me recall the case of James Howells who inadvertently tossed a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins, which he had mined back when they were worth very little. Now that a bitcoin is worth somewhere around $2000, that drive has an estimated worth of $15 million. But unfortunately for Howells, an IT worker, city workers say it’s too late for him to recover the drive from the dump and without it, it is gone. So many other people like that. I wish satoshi will just randomly distribute all this lost coins, so I can have some of it Grin but how will he know when you can't even differentiate lost coins from people who are storing it?
Do you think satoshi will do that? Bring them the lost coins back, well i don't think so, as you can see on satoshi's statemant that
Quote from: Satoshi
Lost coins only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.
This is clearly that satoshi won't do that. However deflation is one of the advantage of the bitcoin, once you lose your private key those coins can never be recovred. No one can't recover it even thought the creator, same like your coins gone forever well it might be bad for you but good for us since the circulation of the coin is reduced.

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rudolfer
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May 29, 2017, 02:27:55 AM
 #18

No. Without the private key all the coins from that wallet are inaccessible. That means they are gone, and there is no automatic method of recycling.
The only way possible to recover those Bitcoins without the private key would be doing a hard fork in the blockchain.

So be careful keep the bitcoin lock and do not get lost?
jhannlenr
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May 29, 2017, 02:31:59 AM
 #19

Na-Ah, nothing happens to it and it will remain there for eternity which is fair and good, I don't want my coins recycled when I put them in a cold wallet or the like, and the only influx of new coins to the market is the new mined coins... Regarding how much is not going to be used, it's hard since there are no sufficient surveys etc...
GXHPP
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May 29, 2017, 03:53:51 AM
 #20

These are lost permanently and non-recoverable if the private keys hadn't been saved in someway, and bitcoin has no inactivity purging system therefore these coins will remain in place for ever, we can't know how much are these coins though, since even an inactive address from x years might just be a cold storage.

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