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Author Topic: Number of bitcoins  (Read 616 times)
bottledwater
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November 28, 2013, 06:12:03 AM
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Im trying to learn as much as I can about bitcoin, but there is on thing that has been puzzling me. If the number of bitcoins is set at X number of bit coins, then what happens when bitcoins disappear from the pool. For example if I have a thumb drive with 1000 bit coins in its wallet and I drop it in the ocean and there is no back up, are those coins lost? People lose stuff all the time so would the number of total bitcoins remain the same if  some coins are out of the loop for x number of years? As an example I bring the recent story on the news of a man who lost a hard drive with 7500 bitcoin.  Shocked
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BurtW
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November 28, 2013, 06:21:28 AM
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They are gone forever.  The remaining Bitcoins become more valuable.  There is no way to tell the difference between lost/destoyed coins and long term saving.  Many, many threads have been written about this very question.  End of story.

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November 28, 2013, 01:04:18 PM
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They are not gone. They are just not accessible. It is like forgetting the access code to your Swiss bank account. The money is still there, but not being used. In the world of BTC, the money is virtual -- still there, but not accessible. It also makes the other accessible BTCs more valuable in the same way that money held for long term speculation does.
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November 28, 2013, 01:26:23 PM
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Yes, the bitcoins of guy with the lost hard-drive are gone forever and act as a void in the blockchain, with no access to it.

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BlazeOfGlory
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November 28, 2013, 02:08:00 PM
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Think of it this way. You have a $10 bill. Your house catches on fire. The $10 bill gets burned to a crisp, even the serial number. You no longer have the $10.

Chances are, the serial number on the $10 bill is registered somewhere. However, it is unusable, since the bill it was on no longer exists. The issuer has no way of knowing that the $10 bill was lost, and so the serial number will stay registered.

The effect of burning a single $10 bill is negligible on the value of the currency; however, if millions of $10 bills were being burned, it would have the opposite effect of issuing currency, and likely result in significant deflation.

Well, Bitcoin wallets are kind of like that. When the private key in the wallet is lost, the BTC is unusable. Permanently lost (i.e. destroyed) means the BTC is permanently unusable. (Unless a mathematical genius manages to break the encryption... in which case he's either just really lucky, or we're screwed. "We" as in humanity as a whole, and not just BTC users.)

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BurtW
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November 28, 2013, 02:18:13 PM
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Think of it this way. You have a $10 bill. Your house catches on fire. The $10 bill gets burned to a crisp, even the serial number. You no longer have the $10.

Chances are, the serial number on the $10 bill is registered somewhere. However, it is unusable, since the bill it was on no longer exists. The issuer has no way of knowing that the $10 bill was lost, and so the serial number will stay registered.

The effect of burning a single $10 bill is negligible on the value of the currency; however, if millions of $10 bills were being burned, it would have the opposite effect of issuing currency, and likely result in significant deflation.

Well, Bitcoin wallets are kind of like that. When the private key in the wallet is lost, the BTC is unusable. Permanently lost (i.e. destroyed) means the BTC is permanently unusable. (Unless a mathematical genius manages to break the encryption... in which case he's either just really lucky, or we're screwed. "We" as in humanity as a whole, and not just BTC users.)
Excellent first post.

Our family was terrorized by Homeland Security.  Read all about it here:  http://www.jmwagner.com/ and http://www.burtw.com/  Any donations to help us recover from the $300,000 in legal fees and forced donations to the Federal Asset Forfeiture slush fund are greatly appreciated!
doingdoing
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November 28, 2013, 02:23:17 PM
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Until you have enough details to use your wallet, you have bitcoins in hand. Whatever be the other case, the bitcoins are lost unrecoverable.
KetnethLander
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November 28, 2013, 02:32:06 PM
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yeah some more might be lost...but i think stuff like this wont happen again.
bottledwater
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December 05, 2013, 09:18:59 PM
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Wow so it seems you have to have a good back up with a redundancy in order not to lose your investment, are services like blockchain . info safe?
Jojamon
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December 05, 2013, 09:33:32 PM
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I would suggest making backups of anything related to digital information that you cannot live without if you store it locally. I work in IT and DR (Disaster Recovery) always sucks. Especially when an accountant's PC crashes with the company's books stored on it without telling anyone he stored them locally. Data redundancy is always recommend, also keeping that redundant data up to date. It would suck if you backed up your wallet with 1BTC, receive more and then lose the dive. Your stuck with the 1BTC again.
bottledwater
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December 09, 2013, 07:18:42 PM
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I would suggest making backups of anything related to digital information that you cannot live without if you store it locally. I work in IT and DR (Disaster Recovery) always sucks. Especially when an accountant's PC crashes with the company's books stored on it without telling anyone he stored them locally. Data redundancy is always recommend, also keeping that redundant data up to date. It would suck if you backed up your wallet with 1BTC, receive more and then lose the dive. Your stuck with the 1BTC again.

So the block chain wouldnt update your wallet to any new received payment? I thought it would just sync it? SO for instance I have something in cold storage with payments going to that adress it doesnt receive new payments after a sync?
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