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Author Topic: Recycling of 'lost' bitcoins  (Read 1015 times)
BRASSIC (OP)
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January 09, 2014, 11:31:03 PM
 #1

Losing your bitcoin wallet would be like burning cash I think. Obviously, that money is lost from the financial system and the same goes for bitcoin (the coins are not lost but cannot be accessed by anybody).

So it got me thinking - Banks fairly regularly change the style of notes with a period of transition to give people the chance to change old notes for new legal tender notes. I can see no real reason why, in theory, this kind of process could not be applied to a cryptocoin. It could go something like this, every 2 years there is a 2 month period to transfer the coins from their old wallet to a new wallet thus acknowledging that the owner is able to 'spend' them should they wish. At the end of the process any coins not transferred are assumed lost and become available for mining again.

Probably be a nightmare to implement and keep track of the transitions and no use to the people who 'burnt' their bitcoins but it protects the amount of currency in the system.

Does anyone think this could be a good idea or know if somebody else has this kind of process implemented in a cryptocoin already?

I'm a 2nd computer science student who's been looking at crytocurrencies for only a week or 2. Next year I have to do a project and am looking for something interesting and different to do.
j.jacky
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January 10, 2014, 12:39:55 AM
 #2

Question that comes to mind...

What defines a 'Lost' coin?..

What if people have their BTC in cold storage (on a HDD not connected to a computer) not accessed for years and then the system recycles the coins thinking they are lost?
Tweek
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January 10, 2014, 12:51:29 AM
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Losing your bitcoin wallet would be like burning cash I think. Obviously, that money is lost from the financial system and the same goes for bitcoin (the coins are not lost but cannot be accessed by anybody).

So it got me thinking - Banks fairly regularly change the style of notes with a period of transition to give people the chance to change old notes for new legal tender notes. I can see no real reason why, in theory, this kind of process could not be applied to a cryptocoin. It could go something like this, every 2 years there is a 2 month period to transfer the coins from their old wallet to a new wallet thus acknowledging that the owner is able to 'spend' them should they wish. At the end of the process any coins not transferred are assumed lost and become available for mining again.

Probably be a nightmare to implement and keep track of the transitions and no use to the people who 'burnt' their bitcoins but it protects the amount of currency in the system.

Does anyone think this could be a good idea or know if somebody else has this kind of process implemented in a cryptocoin already?

I'm a 2nd computer science student who's been looking at crytocurrencies for only a week or 2. Next year I have to do a project and am looking for something interesting and different to do.
The only thing that this would do is make sure that the total amount of a coin that can be mined is in 'circulation' but that doesn't really matter for the valuta itself. Wether there are 21 million or 20 million coins will not matter at the end run where the value will (hopefully) have stabilised some more.
Sure, you can claim that there will be just a few more happy miners, but that doesn't help the coin itself and doesn't justify the work and risks it brings along.

Duane Vick
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January 10, 2014, 04:04:36 AM
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I see no need for such action. As bitcoins become rarer, the value will go up. If the need for more units of crypto-currency exist beyond what bitcoin has available,  another coin will fill the void, and so on and so forth.

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NullCoin
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January 10, 2014, 06:44:30 AM
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Losing your bitcoin wallet would be like burning cash I think. Obviously, that money is lost from the financial system and the same goes for bitcoin (the coins are not lost but cannot be accessed by anybody).

So it got me thinking - Banks fairly regularly change the style of notes with a period of transition to give people the chance to change old notes for new legal tender notes. I can see no real reason why, in theory, this kind of process could not be applied to a cryptocoin. It could go something like this, every 2 years there is a 2 month period to transfer the coins from their old wallet to a new wallet thus acknowledging that the owner is able to 'spend' them should they wish. At the end of the process any coins not transferred are assumed lost and become available for mining again.

Probably be a nightmare to implement and keep track of the transitions and no use to the people who 'burnt' their bitcoins but it protects the amount of currency in the system.

Does anyone think this could be a good idea or know if somebody else has this kind of process implemented in a cryptocoin already?

I'm a 2nd computer science student who's been looking at crytocurrencies for only a week or 2. Next year I have to do a project and am looking for something interesting and different to do.
This is a bad idea. A balance in a bank stays there for years. What if someone forgets about this period? Or is in coma.
BTCWizard
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January 10, 2014, 06:53:54 AM
 #6

Bad idea, how would you transfer for example casascius coins to a different address?

They would all become worthless.
BRASSIC (OP)
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January 10, 2014, 12:10:45 PM
 #7

This same idea has been proposed, discussed and shot down many times.  Please learn to use the search function.

Thanks for the warm welcome  Wink - I did search, but didn't find anything at first glance - and like I said I am new to this. After more research I can see that this topic has been discussed before and I have learned something from it.
DutchRam
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January 10, 2014, 01:19:42 PM
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The main reason this is not necessary (besides the obvious problems it would create), is because a BTCcan be split in billions of pieces. Whereas a dollar/euro can only be split in 100 pieces. When the value of a currency rises to extreme points, you could end up with a car costing several cents. If this is the case then you will not be able to pay for something like bread as this would be far too expensive. That's the reason that banks make sure there is enough money circulating to allow people to buy what they want at the right price. But if a car was .01BTC, that would still allow people to buy bread for, for example, 0.0000001BTC. So there's no real problem in 'losing' coins.
advtechbg
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January 10, 2014, 02:51:02 PM
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...

Explained perfect  Wink
Duane Vick
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January 10, 2014, 03:53:54 PM
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This same idea has been proposed, discussed and shot down many times.  Please learn to use the search function.

Even though I'm quite new myself, I can't begrudge someone who didn't find what they were looking for on this site with the site's search function. The search function limits you to one search before you hit significant time limits. While I understand the need for time restictions to prevent spammers, I think the sitr could be more generous with how often you can search.  I often conduct web searches using a variety of terms because the first term didn't produce useful results.

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JonBoy
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January 10, 2014, 04:16:03 PM
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This same idea has been proposed, discussed and shot down many times.  Please learn to use the search function.

Relax man. He is, like am I, new to this.

Restrictions placed on new members to protect against bots are annoying as hell.

And searching is a pain in the a## with stupid timeouts and results saying that you already searched etc.

So just relax, eh.
player01
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January 10, 2014, 04:24:17 PM
 #12

On the lost BTC issue, I wonder how much is actually lost forever (forgotten keys, mistyped sent coins) I would be willing to bet that the lost coins alone should make the bitcoin price rise over time, since you can't capture them. I wouldn't doubt that at some point in the future cold storage bitcoins can be recaptured using the 51% rule, but probably not for several years when scarcity becomes a huge issue.
BookLover
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January 10, 2014, 04:32:35 PM
 #13

This same idea has been proposed, discussed and shot down many times.  Please learn to use the search function.

Even though I'm quite new myself, I can't begrudge someone who didn't find what they were looking for on this site with the site's search function. The search function limits you to one search before you hit significant time limits. While I understand the need for time restictions to prevent spammers, I think the sitr could be more generous with how often you can search.  I often conduct web searches using a variety of terms because the first term didn't produce useful results.
Just use a real search engine instead of the built in one.  To try it just type your keywords into the search bar and add "site:https://bitcointalk.org/" without the quotations.

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