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Author Topic: Restoring Lost Bitcoins  (Read 2329 times)
JupeB
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August 04, 2012, 03:05:24 PM
 #41

I think mirelo's argumentis absolutely right - bitcoins will be lost; people die and don't pass on their wallets, move on to other monetary systems, etc. If I walk away now, .018ish bitcoins will be lost from the system forever. Laugh now, but if 20 years from now that is the equivalent of $100000, not so funny.

A lot of people on these forums like to dismiss arguments like these because they are "so far in the future that it will never impact us" rather than evaluating them for the long-term viability of Bitcoin. It's somewhat disappointing, especially when at some point in the future, it will become a real problem. Having a billion people trying to trade in Bitcoin at 8 decimal places .000000010 won't work.


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Gabi
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August 04, 2012, 03:13:23 PM
 #42

Quote
Having a billion people trying to trade in Bitcoin at 8 decimal places .000000010 won't work.
It's very easy, just take .00000001 and start calling it 1. The client already support different visualization, go in options and you will find the option to have the client show your amount in BTC or mbTC or uBTC. Problem already solved  Cheesy
DeathAndTaxes
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August 04, 2012, 03:35:47 PM
 #43

A lot of people on these forums like to dismiss arguments like these because they are "so far in the future that it will never impact us" rather than evaluating them for the long-term viability of Bitcoin. It's somewhat disappointing, especially when at some point in the future, it will become a real problem. Having a billion people trying to trade in Bitcoin at 8 decimal places .000000010 won't work.

Of course it will work.  Bitcoin has 1E14 discrete units called a satoshi worth 1E-8 BTC each.  Say hypothetically decades from now Bitcoin has a value such that 1 satoshi (1E-8) is worth > $0.10 (2012 dollars) and it starts to disrupt commerce (can't trade in values less than $0.10 equivelent).  We can add more digits by modifying the protocol.  We can make the smallest unit in Bitcoin 1E-12 or 1E-16 and gain a million fold increase in the number of discrete units.

If you are saying it wouldn't work because trading in 0.0000001 BTC increments is confusing well that is just silly.  If Bitcoin apreciated to the point that most commerce was done in small units people would use mBTC or uBTC or simply satoshis in daily vocabulary.

Dude I lost 130 mBTC (maybe informally called millibits) on that game last night.
...
So you ordered a #1 combo with large fries that will be 138 satoshis.
...

There is no possible scenario where confiscation of wealth is either necessary or desired.  Even if every single Bitcoin except 1 satoshi was lost the network would continue by adding more digits.  
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August 04, 2012, 03:54:55 PM
 #44

Create a fork.

Don't mix your coins someone said isn't legal
Jutarul
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August 04, 2012, 04:01:57 PM
 #45

Hi,

Here is a way of restoring lost bitcoins.

By design, it is impossible to tell idle bitcoins from lost ones. However, with time, there will be an increasing number of lost bitcoins, which will further increase Bitcoin's inherent deflation unnecessarily. How to avoid that? The solution is to define an expiration period for bitcoins, after which any public key that does not reappear in the block chain will expire. Then the Bitcoin client must have functionality to resend those bitcoins to their current wallet (or to any other wallet) before they expire (the client could periodically verify and warn the user, asking what to do). The expiration interval could be a very comfortable one, say, 10 years. After their expiration, the network nodes can mine those expired bitcoins again, so mining remains residually alive.

Please comment on that one.

expiration is not a feasible option.

The short answer is that expiration is meaningless when you can just create transactions a priori which move any bitcoins within your wallet indefinitely. Then the only thing you need is to have some kind of service which sends these transactions within the right time window. Of course there might be compatibility issues, where an "old" transaction may become invalid at some time in the future and I may also have missed some aspect of the transaction design which creates a burden for creating automized transactions, but that's not the point, which is: any strategy to enforce expiration usually can be circumvented somehow.

Thus to pass back the question to you: How do you uniquely identify a "lost" address?

The ASICMINER Project https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.0
"The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.", Milton Friedman
Gabi
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August 04, 2012, 05:03:35 PM
 #46

Guys, it's a 2011 thread
Raoul Duke
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August 04, 2012, 05:47:07 PM
 #47

Guys, it's a 2011 thread

I bet you there are at least 10 threads saying the same and started on 2012 Wink
Fast forward to 2020 and you'll still see someone trying to find a solution for lost coins.
And yes, the coin expiration always makes it to those threads. lol

Gabi
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August 04, 2012, 05:50:09 PM
 #48

Yup, i remember seeing some of them
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August 05, 2012, 12:45:00 PM
 #49

[...] Say hypothetically decades from now Bitcoin has a value such that 1 satoshi (1E-8) is worth > $0.10 (2012 dollars) [...]
Somewhat offtopic: I don't think we're going there. Bitcoin may be one of those kind of inventions where the underlying concept is revolutionary, but the first actual implementation has disadvantages over newer ones. Let's assume we have 2022 now, Bitcoin price has risen by two to three orders of magnitude and there's a Newcoin with stable hashrate in existance. I'd probably prefer the Newcoin because at the point of time where 5% has been mined it's going to have a fairer distribution of wealth. There are no early adopters that were able to buy/mine substantial percentages of coins almost for free. Also, there will be less volatility because no one can drop huge early adopter holdings into the market.

Besides more objective concerns the Bitcoin legacy may have a psychological impact: Once a Newcoin has "arrived" - will people buy a Bitcent for 1000$ if they know that quite a few people own quite a few Bitcents they bought for a Dollar or less? I don't see Altcoins becoming worthwhile in the next few years, but as Bitcoin becomes more widely adopted and the price rises, as the concept of cryptocurrency becomes general knowledge, people will be more and more concerned about the infancy period of Bitcoin and eventually create a successor. My guess is it will happen within 5-10 years from now. This doesn't mean Bitcoin will become worthless, it won't. But it will neither fulfill the prophecies of becoming the one major worldwide cryptocurrency. All it takes is the well-coordinated and widely supported creation of Newcoin once the time is ripe.

(EDIT: Clarification on my implication of Bitcoin wealth distribution being "unfair": I do not think it's unfair at all. Early adopters played a vital role in establishing Bitcoin. They will be rewarded for thinking ahead an risking money in a revolutionary project. Above I'm referring to the fairness *perceived* by the general public in 2022 after a major increase in price.)
Jutarul
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August 05, 2012, 08:09:45 PM
 #50

[...] Say hypothetically decades from now Bitcoin has a value such that 1 satoshi (1E-8) is worth > $0.10 (2012 dollars) [...]
Somewhat offtopic: I don't think we're going there. Bitcoin may be one of those kind of inventions where the underlying concept is revolutionary, but the first actual implementation has disadvantages over newer ones. Let's assume we have 2022 now, Bitcoin price has risen by two to three orders of magnitude and there's a Newcoin with stable hashrate in existance. I'd probably prefer the Newcoin because at the point of time where 5% has been mined it's going to have a fairer distribution of wealth. There are no early adopters that were able to buy/mine substantial percentages of coins almost for free. Also, there will be less volatility because no one can drop huge early adopter holdings into the market.

Besides more objective concerns the Bitcoin legacy may have a psychological impact: Once a Newcoin has "arrived" - will people buy a Bitcent for 1000$ if they know that quite a few people own quite a few Bitcents they bought for a Dollar or less? I don't see Altcoins becoming worthwhile in the next few years, but as Bitcoin becomes more widely adopted and the price rises, as the concept of cryptocurrency becomes general knowledge, people will be more and more concerned about the infancy period of Bitcoin and eventually create a successor. My guess is it will happen within 5-10 years from now. This doesn't mean Bitcoin will become worthless, it won't. But it will neither fulfill the prophecies of becoming the one major worldwide cryptocurrency. All it takes is the well-coordinated and widely supported creation of Newcoin once the time is ripe.

(EDIT: Clarification on my implication of Bitcoin wealth distribution being "unfair": I do not think it's unfair at all. Early adopters played a vital role in establishing Bitcoin. They will be rewarded for thinking ahead an risking money in a revolutionary project. Above I'm referring to the fairness *perceived* by the general public in 2022 after a major increase in price.)

not underestimate the urge to cash out. The bitcoins will eventually be in the hands of the people who possess the wealth these days anyway...

The ASICMINER Project https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.0
"The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.", Milton Friedman
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