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Author Topic: Loosing coins  (Read 511 times)
Bas Koning
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August 06, 2011, 06:54:34 AM
 #1

If more and more coins are lost over time, sooner or later, the resolution of the coin system will drop.

Maximum of 21 million coins.
Ever larger amount of coins 'lost' somehow (forgot walletpassword, computer crash, house burnes down, holder dies etc)
0.00000001 BTC is the minimum amount per transaction.

That means you can now buy a maximum of 2.100.000.000.000.000 individual 'smallest items' (when they are all active in the system).
You could say the 'maximum resolution' of the system is therefore 2.1^15.

Loosing coins does not just refine the perspective, as it should. A side effect, is: it looses granularity.

Every bitcoin lost means a never-to-be-able-to-recover loss in the resolution of the money. The maximum resolution will decrease by 1.000.000.000 items each time someone looses a single coin. Right?

How does bitcoin counter this long term loss of resolution in the system?
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ffuentes
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August 06, 2011, 07:08:02 AM
 #2

If more and more coins are lost over time, sooner or later, the resolution of the coin system will drop.

Maximum of 21 million coins.
Ever larger amount of coins 'lost' somehow (forgot walletpassword, computer crash, house burnes down, holder dies etc)
0.00000001 BTC is the minimum amount per transaction.

That means you can now buy a maximum of 2.100.000.000.000.000 individual 'smallest items' (when they are all active in the system).
You could say the 'maximum resolution' of the system is therefore 2.1^15.

Loosing coins does not just refine the perspective, as it should. A side effect, is: it looses granularity.

Every bitcoin lost means a never-to-be-able-to-recover loss in the resolution of the money. The maximum resolution will decrease by 1.000.000.000 items each time someone looses a single coin. Right?

How does bitcoin counter this long term loss of resolution in the system?

All this depends of the success of Bitcoin as a project, even if 0.00000001B becomes in a too big amount, the system might be adjusted to add enough zeroes. If bitcoin already exist in 50 years, probably we will talk about mB (milibitcoins) or "satoshis" instead the currently measure.

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August 06, 2011, 07:26:06 AM
 #3

from my understanding of the code, it is possible (when the time comes) to add more granularity later.
Bas Koning
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August 06, 2011, 07:36:17 AM
 #4

Yes, indeed, increasing zeros technically again (and maybe later, again) would defeat the problem of resolution loss... temporarily!
 
It also introduces two, now inherent weaknesses to the system:
-now, technology has to increase just as fast (or faster) as the population using the system. It does right now, but will it do that later on? We just dont know: what if the government shuts down the internet (Pol-Pot scenario), the bomb drops, or the aliens land. Will the system still work? What if we dont find any real more new technology, but the amount of people on this planet ,using the system just grows and grows. Will technology always keep up with population? We hope. If, for some strange reason, technology stops growing, coins will get lost, and the system will die of resolution loss. The system is now depending on technology to provide ever increasing resolution (by adding zeros). If, for any reason, technology fails to deliver... game over.

-its not a problem now, and when it does, a possible solution is at hand, but is requires constant attention from now on. People will have to guard this 'boundary' of the system, and raise alarms and update the system in time, in a far future. Who? When? Where? Automatically? Projects can live for a couple of years, but what if support dwindles, and no-one updates the software anymore, leading to resolution-loss-death-system.
 
Now we have 2 dependencies: technology has to increase, and someone has to check if the system needs any higher resolution, even in the far, far, future.
 
If thats the only way to go: fine. But if the system can get rid of these dependencies, even better.
deepceleron
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August 06, 2011, 09:54:23 AM
 #5

Every bitcoin lost means a never-to-be-able-to-recover loss in the resolution of the money. The maximum resolution will decrease by 1.000.000.000 items each time someone looses a single coin. Right?

How does bitcoin counter this long term loss of resolution in the system?

Loosing coins? Don't you mean losing coins? I'm not afraid of coins on the loose!

Bitcoin counters this by having a unit so small that currently 100,000 of them = $0.01. When one Bitcoin is worth $1,000,000 then we may have to re-evaluate, but probably not, because for the currencies to be off by that much, a loaf of bread would probably cost $1,000.

Vio
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August 06, 2011, 01:40:56 PM
 #6

Loosing coins? Don't you mean losing coins? I'm not afraid of coins on the loose!

Grin

And OT: no it won't be a problem, some extra zero's and you're done!
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