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Author Topic: Can lost Bitcoins be traced?  (Read 9936 times)
Yukyzu
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July 26, 2019, 07:19:10 AM
 #141

You can easily trace the transaction of your lost or stolen bitcoin but the problem is that, you can't trace and identify the identity of the person making the transactions....  In as much that bitcoin operates on a decentralized network, its quite difficult to trace the identities of people behind every transaction....
well, it's just a waste of work, and you don't know when it will end. You might be able to trace it, but it will continue to move until you enter the exchanger, and enter the trading process. You can trace it, but it's very difficult to restore it.

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July 26, 2019, 07:37:13 AM
 #142

How is it possible to track lost or stolen Bitcoins? While public addresses are not directly linked to a person's identity, the Blockchain itself is widely transparent. Knowing how many Bitcoin are lost is key towards establishing a correct circulating supply of the cryptocurrency.

As such, there might be a slight miscalculation on the total number of Bitcoin in circulation. If it's a lot more less than what's circulating, then I believe that Bitcoin's price should be higher due to its highly-limited supply.

Nonetheless, do you think it's widely possible to track lost Bitcoins? Your thoughts about this would be highly appreciated for educational/learning purposes. Smiley

If it can be traced, then it most probably it's not lost. Grin
I don't think you don't get the point, I'll give you a example, if I have an account and I forget the key or password that has bitcoin on it, that means it's already loss in the circulation but I can still track it since I know the bitcoin address.

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July 26, 2019, 03:42:21 PM
 #143

How is it possible to track lost or stolen Bitcoins? While public addresses are not directly linked to a person's identity, the Blockchain itself is widely transparent. Knowing how many Bitcoin are lost is key towards establishing a correct circulating supply of the cryptocurrency.

As such, there might be a slight miscalculation on the total number of Bitcoin in circulation. If it's a lot more less than what's circulating, then I believe that Bitcoin's price should be higher due to its highly-limited supply.

Nonetheless, do you think it's widely possible to track lost Bitcoins? Your thoughts about this would be highly appreciated for educational/learning purposes. Smiley

Yes, lost bitcoin can be traced in the blockchain but you can't trace the owner of those lost bitcoin because transaction is always anonymous except if the person did kyc before losing his bitcoin.

If we apply the law of demand and supply,bitcoin will increase it's value if the supply continue to decrease. What i mean is, the greater the demand with a lower supply well cause a higher value.

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July 27, 2019, 02:47:00 AM
 #144

if we lost bitcoin, the bitcoin itself still in the block like the other bitcoin. lost bitcoin still active on the block but passive from other actifity because none touch it, unless you know the key to open it.
you can trace lost bitcoin, but if it stole you cant trace the user except the user ever fill information somewhere and its the real information of user.

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July 27, 2019, 06:42:36 AM
Merited by Abiky (2)
 #145

First of all, "lost" Bitcoins are different from "stolen" Bitcoins.

Lost coins are those which can't be spent, as the private key has been lost. You can easily trace these coins, as they can't be moved and will remain in the original wallet. By checking the Blockchain, you can find the details.

Stolen Bitcoins can be difficult to trace if the thief uses a Bitcoin mixer. Even then, they can be traced with some effort. Back in 2013, Tomáš Jiřikovský and Eva Bartošová stole a few millions worth of coins from the users of Sheep Marketplace (ironically, Jiřikovský was the owner of SMP). He used multiple mixers, but eventually he was caught after tracing the transactions (he pissed off a lot of powerful people. I don't know what happened to him after he was caught).

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July 29, 2019, 02:58:01 PM
 #146

I'm not sure if it's really possible to trace lost or stolen Bitcoins. As far as I know it's impossible to return them, but who knows... I saw some threads where people were talking about Bitcoins recovering, that you can take your hardware and show it to a specialist who will restore coins for you. But I'm not sure about it.
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July 29, 2019, 07:45:37 PM
 #147

First of all, "lost" Bitcoins are different from "stolen" Bitcoins.

Lost coins are those which can't be spent, as the private key has been lost. You can easily trace these coins, as they can't be moved and will remain in the original wallet. By checking the Blockchain, you can find the details.

Stolen Bitcoins can be difficult to trace if the thief uses a Bitcoin mixer. Even then, they can be traced with some effort. Back in 2013, Tomáš Jiřikovský and Eva Bartošová stole a few millions worth of coins from the users of Sheep Marketplace (ironically, Jiřikovský was the owner of SMP). He used multiple mixers, but eventually he was caught after tracing the transactions (he pissed off a lot of powerful people. I don't know what happened to him after he was caught).

At the begininig when Bitcoin first appeared it was almost impossibe to trace transactions and get in trace of stolen coins. Today it's still difficult but big progress has been made and results are better. Of course there is no guarantee at all that stolen coins could be revealed but everyone makes mistakes, no matter the mixers and everything and there is always a chance.

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July 30, 2019, 12:37:35 AM
 #148

Tracing lost btc is a great work and btc can be of many way in lost , which might be either by hack or key lost .

If it is a hacked wallet and there is a move of it to another wallet , it can be trace to another wallet and so on like that but if it a lost key and no one four d the key then it will always remain in the wallet for ever unless the key was four d and move the btc.

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July 30, 2019, 02:48:44 AM
 #149

I'm not sure if it's really possible to trace lost or stolen Bitcoins. As far as I know it's impossible to return them, but who knows... I saw some threads where people were talking about Bitcoins recovering, that you can take your hardware and show it to a specialist who will restore coins for you. But I'm not sure about it.

I don’t think there’s any mechanism for recovering lost coins, because no one has successfully ever recovered their lost coins yet. The only thing you can see is the address where your coins went, but what’s the point you’ll never know who the owner is and once the transaction is done it’s irreversible. Who’re these hardware guys never heard of them before, can you provide link to the thread you have mentioned?.

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July 30, 2019, 02:41:36 PM
 #150

If you lose the bitcoin you have then you have to give it up. I think you can't trace it. What's more, the legal system that regulates crypto currencies is unclear. You also cannot accuse people carelessly in online media because if you cannot prove it in reality you will be exposed to problems related to defamation. You will not be able to track it because many markets are scattered in crypto currencies. Besides that, you can make this event a valuable experience so that in the future you can make the right decision.

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July 31, 2019, 03:36:36 PM
 #151

First of all, "lost" Bitcoins are different from "stolen" Bitcoins.

Lost coins are those which can't be spent, as the private key has been lost. You can easily trace these coins, as they can't be moved and will remain in the original wallet. By checking the Blockchain, you can find the details.

Stolen Bitcoins can be difficult to trace if the thief uses a Bitcoin mixer. Even then, they can be traced with some effort. Back in 2013, Tomáš Jiřikovský and Eva Bartošová stole a few millions worth of coins from the users of Sheep Marketplace (ironically, Jiřikovský was the owner of SMP). He used multiple mixers, but eventually he was caught after tracing the transactions (he pissed off a lot of powerful people. I don't know what happened to him after he was caught).

Exactly. There's a huge difference between lost and stolen Bitcoins. The main reason why coins end in such a state, is largely attributed towards irresponsibility by the user. An individual can simply choose to secure his/her private key against theft or loss, by following well-known practices within the crypto industry. Still though, if Bitcoins are lost or stolen one way or another, we can always resort to the Blockchain in order to keep track of the origin and destination of the same.

It's easy enough to track & trace a transparent Blockchain like Bitcoin, but nearly impossible in fully-obfuscated blockchain ledgers. With Monero and Grin, people who lose their coins won't be able to know where they went. The same thing happens with Bitcoin if the you or the hacker used a mixer/tumbler, or another privacy solution to obfuscate transactions. Knowing these issues, we may not be able to trace every single coin at all.

Despite this, I believe that the more coins are lost, the better it'll be for the scarcity of Bitcoin. Such scarcity will greatly benefit Bitcoin, as prices become higher over time. There may be even lesser coins in circulation than we've ever thought. Perhaps, someday as Blockchain analytic tools improve, it'll be much easier to track how much coins are currently circulating, as well as, lost/stolen ones no matter if mixers/tumblers are used. After all, there's no such thing as 100% anonymity. Somehow, transactions will be discovered by any flaw existent within currently used privacy solutions on the Bitcoin network.

Nonetheless, keeping your public keys secure would allow you to at least trace where your coins were sent across the Blockchain. You could lose your private key, but losing both keypairs (public and private) will only make matters worse as you won't be able to know where your coins are located within the Bitcoin blockchain, neither gain access to them. Which is why, it's important to take good responsibility of your hard-earned coins to prevent any of the aforementioned situations from happening soon. Just my opinion Smiley


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July 31, 2019, 03:59:25 PM
 #152

How is it possible to track lost or stolen Bitcoins?
Wait a minute, isn't there a difference between lost and stolen coins....AFAIK lost could mean a forgotten private key and you can still watch the activity on that address while stolen bitcoins means hacked and moved coins out of your wallet. So in terms of tracking lost coins can be tracked(watched) while stolen coins are likely to be tracked if connection between wallets isn't broken by either a mixer or exchange.


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July 31, 2019, 05:43:40 PM
 #153

I can see where everyone is coming from and the difference between lost versus stolen. Lost could be traced but might not be worth the effort or expenses unless it's a large amount. Stolen are definitely something that is being explored by companies such as ciphertrace who are trying to help with the legal side of crypto.
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August 03, 2019, 01:59:58 AM
 #154

I can see where everyone is coming from and the difference between lost versus stolen. Lost could be traced but might not be worth the effort or expenses unless it's a large amount. Stolen are definitely something that is being explored by companies such as ciphertrace who are trying to help with the legal side of crypto.

It's good to know that some companies are delivering solutions for the mainstream world, in order to keep track of stolen coins. In a good way, people will be able to "catch" malicious actors with ease. However, it will greatly threaten the privacy of transactions as governments will be able to audit the Blockchain in a simple manner. As such, the ends don't justify the means. In the case of lost coins, one could easily keep track of them by having a copy of the public key. Anyone who obtains this key, will be able to see where transactions went or where they originated from within the Blockchain.

The process will tend to be much more difficult if somehow the owner of the coins used a mixer/tumbler in order to obfuscate transactions from the public. Which is why, it's important to secure your private key as much as possible. There are many ways to do this explained within this very forum and the web. The worse situation would be one's death as it would come unexpected at any point in time. But as long as you keep a copy of the private key in a safe place, with instructions for the retrieval of coins among your closest relatives, the coins will be secured.

Nonetheless, dormant coins can either determine that they are being stored in a cold wallet, or they're not being moved by their original owner. Which is why, we cannot know for certainty if those coins are truly lost within the Blockchain. But if they are, then it would be good for the Bitcoin blockchain, as the supply will be lesser than we've thought. Just my opinion Smiley


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August 03, 2019, 08:47:37 AM
 #155

Yes, it can be traced by the bitcoin ledger. I'm not expert but read and heard as the blockchain is transparent so for sure will give some way to trace it.
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August 03, 2019, 05:38:25 PM
 #156

Nonetheless, dormant coins can either determine that they are being stored in a cold wallet, or they're not being moved by their original owner. Which is why, we cannot know for certainty if those coins are truly lost within the Blockchain. But if they are, then it would be good for the Bitcoin blockchain, as the supply will be lesser than we've thought. Just my opinion Smiley

This is still why I read every report about "lost" Bitcoin with a huge slapping of salt. Even Satoshi's 1 million stash, if it really belonged to him, was deliberately left dormant because he/they worried about unfair distribution. I doubt the private keys would ever be lost or that amount was meant to be untouchable, or he's simply have just sent it to a burn address.

Even all those so-called lost keys (like the guy who dumped his hard drive and is supposedly looking for it till today), I think there's a lot to be gained by lying about that.

Dormant only means dormant and for as long as there is enough doubt about whether those private keys can be accessed, they should be assumed as simply that -- dormant.

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August 08, 2019, 02:02:09 AM
 #157

This is still why I read every report about "lost" Bitcoin with a huge slapping of salt. Even Satoshi's 1 million stash, if it really belonged to him, was deliberately left dormant because he/they worried about unfair distribution. I doubt the private keys would ever be lost or that amount was meant to be untouchable, or he's simply have just sent it to a burn address.

Even all those so-called lost keys (like the guy who dumped his hard drive and is supposedly looking for it till today), I think there's a lot to be gained by lying about that.

Dormant only means dormant and for as long as there is enough doubt about whether those private keys can be accessed, they should be assumed as simply that -- dormant.

Exactly. Even Satoshi's stash of Bitcoin could be dormant and not lost as many people think. While it's impossible to determine the current state of coins across the Blockchain (dormant, lost, stolen, etc), it's easy to keep track of any activity within the same. When we lose our Bitcoin, it actually stays there in the Blockchain until it's recovered by the corresponding private key. Basically, all of the coins circulating within the BTC blockchain belong to the network instead of the individual himself. What we only gain control of is the private key above anything else.

The real deal here is not lost Bitcoin, but rather stolen balances from hackers or thieves within the mainstream world. This is because, the perpetrator could use certain privacy solutions to obfuscate transactions from the public. As such, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to keep track of their hard-earned coins. Which is why, tracing Bitcoin is limited to the number of techniques used (if any) by the person using the Blockchain ledger.

Despite this, you can prevent losing or getting your Bitcoin stolen by following necessary practices to secure it. As long as you have a copy of your private key, and it's stored somewhere safe, your Bitcoin will never get lost or stolen. While it's unfortunate that transactions on the BTC blockchain become final (as people won't be able to recover lost/stolen funds), it's often good in the sense that it's similar to physical hard cash.

Nonetheless, the openness of the Bitcoin blockchain allows anyone to search for coins and addresses without the permission to do so. In privately-owned Blockchains, that's not possible and it gets worse with anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero and Grin. Which is why, Bitcoin's transparency is more of a feature than a flaw. Just my thoughts Grin


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