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Author Topic: Dying bitcoins  (Read 9760 times)
virtualcoin
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June 21, 2010, 01:22:35 PM
 #1

Hello,

if somebody's loosing his wallet (e.g. due to disk crash) he's not able to get back his coins, is he?
So every time a person looses coins, they're lost forever? So the bitcoin network will slowly shrink over time? (Because there will always be people who loose wallets!)

TIA
virtualcoin

edit: Forgot to mention the coins of users that are try out bitcoin and then never use it again.
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laszlo
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June 21, 2010, 01:54:29 PM
 #2

They are lost for good.  Think of it like someone losing their wallet in the ocean.  It seems like it would be a problem but it's really not that significant.  People lose their gold jewelry all the time but it doesn't make much of a difference to the value of gold.

I wonder though, is there a point where the difficulty of generating a new coinbase is so high that it would make more sense to try to recover keys for lost coins or steal other people's coins instead?  The difficulty of that is really high so for now it makes a lot more sense to generate but I just wonder what the real figures are.. would that ever become more productive?  Maybe Satoshi can address this..

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virtualcoin
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June 21, 2010, 02:33:31 PM
 #3

They are lost for good.  Think of it like someone losing their wallet in the ocean.  It seems like it would be a problem but it's really not that significant.  People lose their gold jewelry all the time but it doesn't make much of a difference to the value of gold.

But loosing 1 bitcoin in the ocean of a maximum of 21.000.000 coins seems significant to me, so not comparable to gold and jewelry.
So only 21000 losses of 1000 coins can happen. That's not much!
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June 21, 2010, 03:01:44 PM
 #4

But loosing 1 bitcoin in the ocean of a maximum of 21.000.000 coins seems significant to me, so not comparable to gold and jewelry.
So only 21000 losses of 1000 coins can happen. That's not much!
But remember that each bitcoins can be divided into 100 million pieces, as needed.

And the more valuable they become, the more careful people will be not to lose them.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
virtualcoin
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June 21, 2010, 03:54:43 PM
 #5

So how am I able to transfer less than BC0.01 without getting the message "error in amount" from the bitcoin program?
laszlo
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June 21, 2010, 04:33:00 PM
 #6

The current user interface doesn't support smaller than 0.01 increments but it is possible to support it in a future revision.

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satoshi
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June 21, 2010, 05:48:26 PM
 #7

Lost coins only make everyone else's coins worth slightly more.  Think of it as a donation to everyone.

I wonder though, is there a point where the difficulty of generating a new coinbase is so high that it would make more sense to try to recover keys for lost coins or steal other people's coins instead?  The difficulty of that is really high so for now it makes a lot more sense to generate but I just wonder what the real figures are.. would that ever become more productive?  Maybe Satoshi can address this..
Computers have to get about 2^200 times faster before that starts to be a problem.  Someone with lots of compute power could make more money by generating than by trying to steal.
summy
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June 22, 2010, 11:51:25 AM
 #8

Last but not least one can make tons of backups. Once could also setup a bank, even insurance could be made. You could also put your a wallet onto a media (cdrom, tape, whatever) and put it into a safe, like you would to it with money or gold. Then you can have a small wallet.

In most regards bitcoin is just like any other currency. If you are stupid enough to not keep it save it's your fault. It's like walking on the beach with all your money. Simply don't do it!

Maybe I could create a bank, but I'd have to think about away to make myself trustworthy. Wink

If you put your money onto a bank account you also have to trust them. If they mess up their system and nobody knows who was the owner of the money it's exactly the same. Inside the bank your money only exists in a virtual way. Most of the time (not always, because they invest your money) it is backed up by something physical, but if you loose the data to link the physical with the virtual stuff the system is completely messed up.

To make it short: BitCoin is just money, so don't think of it as something too abstract. You can secure it, like every other money.

In most situations it's easier. It isn't that easy to encrypt your money before you put it in your safe, is it?  Grin
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June 23, 2010, 07:41:14 PM
 #9

last weak my hard drive crashed, good thing i backed up my wallet Smiley
as soon as i got my hard drive exchanged by western digital i will be back in the bitcoin system.

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Come-from-Beyond
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September 18, 2012, 05:39:47 PM
 #10

Wouldn't it be good to modify the protocol, so any coins that weren't moved for 1000 days (for example) could be returned back into the system and mined again? We would get rid of some issues this way (lost coins, wasted space). Anyone who hoards bitcoins should just transfer the coins from wallet to wallet once a year.
FreeMoney
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September 18, 2012, 05:43:51 PM
 #11

Network size is not determined by the number of units. If it was we could have been ten times bigger now for the cost of one extra "0"!

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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September 18, 2012, 05:54:37 PM
 #12

Wouldn't it be good to modify the protocol, so any coins that weren't moved for 1000 days (for example) could be returned back into the system and mined again? We would get rid of some issues this way (lost coins, wasted space). Anyone who hoards bitcoins should just transfer the coins from wallet to wallet once a year.
So if I'm going to jail for 10 years, my coins will be stolen from me? Bad idea.

Two other threads on the topic from within the last month:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=104422.0
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=109117.0
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September 18, 2012, 06:15:22 PM
 #13

Come-from-Beyond you do realize that you can take the Bitcoin source code, modify it how ever you like and start your own crypto currency that will follow the rules you want it to follow..

If you aren't happy with Bitcoin the way it is, why not do that? We'll all be thankful and move to your currency if it turns out better than Bitcoin!

My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right)

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September 18, 2012, 06:21:40 PM
 #14

I don't get where this argument comes from. I've seen it many times. Making this argument requires a fatal flaw in logical thinking. Let me explain this in a simple way:

People lose bitcoins -> value of remaining bitcoins go up -> average bitcoin user has less bitcoins -> people lose less bitcoins on average -> price still goes up -> average bitcoin user has again less bitcoins -> people lose less bitcoins on average.

So in the long term this will only cause the price of bitcoins to go up a bit and for people to lose less bitcoins after that. Even in a million years we wouldn't reach 0 bitcoins and as you all should know, bitcoins can be divided to smaller pieces quite effectively.

This argument is broken even without taking into account how educated people are in using Bitcoin. That is entirely irrelevant for countering this argument. Taking care of your bitcoins is a smart thing to do though, so I'm all for it. Smiley

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September 18, 2012, 06:24:16 PM
 #15

Come-from-Beyond you do realize that you can take the Bitcoin source code, modify it how ever you like and start your own crypto currency that will follow the rules you want it to follow..

If you aren't happy with Bitcoin the way it is, why not do that? We'll all be thankful and move to your currency if it turns out better than Bitcoin!

Ok. I'll send u personal invitation. It's almost ready, just tuning minting algo. Should take 2-3 months.
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September 18, 2012, 06:27:08 PM
 #16

Wouldn't it be good to modify the protocol, so any coins that weren't moved for 1000 days (for example) could be returned back into the system and mined again? We would get rid of some issues this way (lost coins, wasted space). Anyone who hoards bitcoins should just transfer the coins from wallet to wallet once a year.
So if I'm going to jail for 10 years, my coins will be stolen from me? Bad idea.

Two other threads on the topic from within the last month:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=104422.0
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=109117.0

This thread is better. It was started quite earlier. Smiley
DannyHamilton
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September 18, 2012, 06:34:46 PM
 #17

I don't get where this argument comes from. <snip>

I'm pretty sure it comes from over 2 years ago.

Hello,
<snip>

You know, back when Satoshi himself (or herself? or themselves?) was/were still participating in dicsussions.

Lost coins only make everyone else's coins worth slightly more.  Think of it as a donation to everyone.

The quality of posts has dropped to such a low level that all users who are participating in a paid signature campaign are added to my ignore list. If you'd like a copy of the list to improve your browsing experience, you can find it here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=973843.0 (Updated 2016-1-4)
Kupsi
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September 18, 2012, 06:49:59 PM
 #18

This thread is better. It was started quite earlier. Smiley
Yes, if you're not looking for updated information...
Gabi
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September 18, 2012, 07:47:54 PM
 #19

Wouldn't it be good to modify the protocol, so any coins that weren't moved for 1000 days (for example) could be returned back into the system and mined again? We would get rid of some issues this way (lost coins, wasted space). Anyone who hoards bitcoins should just transfer the coins from wallet to wallet once a year.
No

No it's not a good idea. It's a shitty idea

In case it is not clear: NO

Why the hell every week someone must come up with the same fail idea?
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September 18, 2012, 07:52:31 PM
 #20

Why the hell every week someone must come up with the same fail idea?
Because the idea of not being able to steal other people's money fills them with great anxiety.
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