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Author Topic: Lost Bitcoins  (Read 916 times)
revCrypto
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February 22, 2018, 11:22:28 AM
 #1

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?
I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?
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cynical
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February 22, 2018, 11:54:47 AM
 #2

It is highly unlikely that every owner of Bitcoins will all loose access to them,
and thats 21,000,000 bitcoins which wont be fully mined for about another 100 years
and it is true that the lower the circulating supply the higher the value, provided people want to buy it.

The critical amount of Bitcoins lost is hard to compute before it gives diminishing returns but its all subjective and hypothetical at this stage really.

In November 2017 this report came out that just under 4,000,000 coins have been lost forever but the rate of loss will slow down.
http://fortune.com/2017/11/25/lost-bitcoins/
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February 22, 2018, 12:11:30 PM
 #3

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?
I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?

that's why we have 8 decimals. 10.87654321
if more and more coins lost due to whatever reasons, we can use smaller unit/denomination
as of now the standard is BTC, in the future when bitcoin very scarce we can say in term of mBTC or uBTC as standard

the exchange rate can be adjusted properly as needed too
imagine saying selling 0.001 BTC at rate $100,000 /BTC,
wouldn't it be easier to say selling 1 mBTC at rate $100 /mBTC

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February 22, 2018, 12:27:35 PM
 #4

You know you should try and do a survey about how many Bitcoins are lost.. you would come to know that the number is not that much .. that it would inflict damage on the ecosystem.. it's highly unlikely that.. 1-2% could have diminishing effect

Also most wallets are backed up by the mail thus can be recovered till an extent even if they couldn't .. you should know that it won't do much damage
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February 22, 2018, 12:51:22 PM
 #5

Probably just like addresses, it would take so much time before "too much addresses" is taken. The good thing about bitcoin is that it could potentially be infinitely dividable so the number of lost bitcoin should not be a concern. Just think of it this way, as people lose theirs, yours get more valuable.

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February 22, 2018, 04:01:38 PM
 #6

Though online wallets can be hacked and scamer are doing many things to steal money from people wallets but I think online wallet still remains the best place to keep our bitcoin and others wallets. Coins saving is the next things to do and how we should keep the coins in the most save place were our next of kids can access our coins.

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February 22, 2018, 05:11:28 PM
 #7

As Bitcoin gets more valuable the more security will be poured into them and the more they will be secured. Could you imagine how many people lost thousands of them when they were relatively worthless, probably a bunch the pizza dude is not alone.

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February 22, 2018, 07:46:49 PM
 #8

If a high amount of people actually ending up losing their crypto then people would fill the void and develop software to try to help people get back into their wallets, as people may have some remembrance of what their encrypted password may be but not the whole thing. So there is a market there if a ton of people were not responsible and lost their coins.

But yes, it is fair to highlight something in crypto which could lead to a downfall. If everyone loses their coins what happens? I mean while unlikely it would just remove the value from crypto.

Though if some people just lose their coins, it then increases the value as there is less in supply. So it can go both ways depending on how many coins are lost and if there is still a demand for them at the time of loss.


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February 22, 2018, 08:09:42 PM
 #9

Increased adoption and lost bitcoins will cause the value to rise, and there is potential issue if the value rises. The potential issue is with the value of a satoshi, the smallest possible unit. If the value of a satoshi becomes too high, then that could cause problems.

For example, if a bitcoin is worth $1 billion, then a satoshi is worth $10. In this case, transactions could only send multiples of $10 and the minimum transaction fee would be $10.

Gavin Andresson has suggested that one possible solution is to increase the divisibility of a bitcoin, and that it could be done with a soft fork.

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February 22, 2018, 08:48:36 PM
 #10

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?

Well it already happened as what @cynical has pointed out.

I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?

There's also the factor of the next bitcoin halving. So it means that bitcoin will be really scarce, meaning the price could literally skyrocketed in the future so I don't think that we can see diminishing returns as you trying to picture out. As for altcoins, they will simple die a natural death, but its not applicable to bitcoin.
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February 22, 2018, 09:00:48 PM
 #11

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?
I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?

Why do you say that at some point that is bound to happen? You should have no problem with corrupted hard drives. As long as you have your private keys, you can lose your hard drive for all I know, and you will be able to install a wallet on a new drive and recover your coins there. They are not tied to any drive, they are "written" in the network, so they are always yours, as long as you can "prove" that. If you lose your key, then there is a problem of course, but why would that happen? People know bitcoin is valuable, so they will be careful with their pk.

As for people dying, that will of course be a problem. With fiat, the money is inherited or goes to the state, but that can't happen with BTC, so you will lose them, if your pk "dies" with you.

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February 22, 2018, 09:32:47 PM
 #12

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?
I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?

Fiat:

People pass away, or bury money in the ground all the time.
Houses & buildings have fires, cash or documents are lost, etc.
Solution? New cash is printed. This is an inflationary currency.

Bitcoin/etc:

People pass away, lose passwords, etc.
Houses & building fires burn up backup files in Mining accidents all the time.
Solution? Bitcoin(or any other crypto) can essentially have infinite decimals.
So it's a deflationary currency.
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February 22, 2018, 09:35:09 PM
 #13

There will be people that don't protect their coins and they will lose their bitcoins, but for those who are aware of the dangers and take the necessary precautions, they should have ample backups.  However, it is still possible for these individuals to meet an untimely end (hit by bus, stroke, heart attack, etc.) and have not yet set up plans to transfer their bitcoins to their heirs--or they may not have anyone to pass down their bitcoins to and in this case those bitcoins would be lost.

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February 22, 2018, 09:36:27 PM
 #14

If people lose their BTC wallets that just means remaining BTCs get more valuable Smiley

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February 22, 2018, 09:44:35 PM
 #15

Same thing will happen with every other coin. They will also gain value due to the low number of it in the market.
That is if the certain coin have some value at all.
How many should be lost to inflict damage to the system?
What?!
I dont get it.
If 1 bitcoin is left in the blockchain then we will be using satoshis. Grin.
With other coins I dont know.

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February 22, 2018, 10:04:48 PM
 #16

Your question is valid but everything has changed now, it was quite alarming when bitcoin wasn't that much famous in past than it is now, but today when world is well aware of the importance of bitcoin no one is that much careless or dumb to lose their bitcoin.
Don't worry about the fixed circulating supply, still a long way to go for reaching 21 Million bitcoins circulation.
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February 23, 2018, 04:25:23 AM
 #17

It is not practical for all the bitcoins owners to end loosing their bitcoins .There are chances for things to happen like a system crash which can lead to loosing the bitcoin wallet as the wallet details were saved only in the computer system and there were no other hard copies such things may happen but it's very rare. Some even end up loosing their btc as hackers hack into their wallet s and they end up having nothing. I think system crash is one of the most common reason  I have found for loosing bitcoins.

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February 23, 2018, 04:58:24 AM
 #18

In my bitcoin journey i have never faced bitcoin loss ever because i have a strong patience due to which i am not doing any thing in hurry and from the start to till now I have faced many good times in the bitcoin like the bitcoin is using for many big different transactions. Bitcoin is used as strong money like the bitcoin users have used this as a currency and they have used bitcoin ATM for the bitcoin withdrawal as well.

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February 23, 2018, 09:20:00 AM
 #19

This is very very unlikely to ever happen. Its like saying everyone lost their money on the planet at once. This would just not happen. Only the careless ones or those who didnt really knew a thing about cryptocurrencies would randomly lose their wallets and passwords.

Anyways, if anything of this sort of hypothetical situation arises, certainly new coins will be created because that will be the only option available. But since its a super hypothetical assumption, its never going to happen.

People trade day in and day out, completely engrossed in the digital market. Losing a wallet is such a naive thing to occur, that too on a larger level. Probably new security systems might arise through which one can revoke their wallets via some verification or something, and things would work accordingly. But suddenly everyones money going lost is quite unlikely to happen.
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February 23, 2018, 09:35:05 AM
 #20

When will we hit a critical point at which there's just too many lost bitcoins due to someone loosing their wallets, dying or corrupted hard drives and etc? At some point this is bound to happen right?
I know that for the time being, low circulating supply means that the coin will increase in value but how low can it get before it starts to give diminishing returns and actually inflict damage to the system? What would happen to crypto in general if all of the coins and altcoins will suffer the same ending?
It's very good that you think the future, but the situation that you imagined yourself is still far from reality. At the moment, we can observe that the crypto-currencies are gaining more popularity, and development

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