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Author Topic: What if someone lost their wallets?  (Read 1362 times)
os008
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March 16, 2011, 04:43:01 PM
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Hi,
I imagined a situation where someone lost their wallet, then thought about how part of the max number of bitcoins is now lost forever. Would it be as simple as the Bitcoins' value going up by a small amount to compensate for the lost coins?

It might be a dumb question, but i just want to understand how it would work if every now and then someone lost his wallet (happens to every file eventually)? Part of the max Bitcoins is going to be lost, then another, ... etc.

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Garrett Burgwardt
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March 16, 2011, 04:51:22 PM
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Search feature could have saved us a thread Cheesy

Anyway, yes, since there are now fewer coins available, the remaining coins are worth more.

If a wallet.dat is lost and SHA256 remains secure, there is no way to get the coins back.

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March 16, 2011, 04:57:51 PM
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Hi os008. I think your understanding is generally correct. Individuals can, have in the past, and will in the future (there are some posts that reference people deleting their wallets) lose their wallets, which will effectively destroy those bitcoins forever. The lose of those bitcoins will likely have no immediate effect on the value of everyone else's bitcoins, but will reduce the supply of bitcoins. Consider a central bank that can print money, increase the money supply relative to demand, and ultimately cause the money to lose value (in purchasing power and in trading value against other currencies). Reducing the supply of money relative to demand will have the opposite effect -- increasing the value of the currency.

My guess is that (excluding a mass loss of bitcoins due to a virus or some other disaster) there is likely to be a small percentage of total bitcoins lost, which will have some small but meaningful effect on the value of bitcoins.
os008
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March 16, 2011, 05:20:18 PM
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Search feature could have saved us a thread Cheesy
I have used the search, got nothing. Post a thread in which someone asked the same question please; maybe i can't search well.

My guess is that (excluding a mass loss of bitcoins due to a virus or some other disaster) there is likely to be a small percentage of total bitcoins lost, which will have some small but meaningful effect on the value of bitcoins.
That's what i was thinking of, and actually wanted to post, but dismissed it on the fact that it's a very rare occurence. I got the general idea, thanks for explaining guys.

2x5850 @ 600[M|K]H/s
Garrett Burgwardt
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March 16, 2011, 05:26:45 PM
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http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3951.0

http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3793.0
os008
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March 17, 2011, 02:34:57 PM
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Thank you. Seems i used the wrong keywords, or not enough of them, to search.

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