since all bitcoins are technically stored in the cloud - couldn't the destroyed bitcoins simply be reintroduced into unminted blocks?
or we could start mining 64bit blocks for many many more (albiet alot harder difficulty) coin?
Interesting thoughts. I think we'd have to violate the "never more than 21 million coins" concept to implement either. Plus, the first idea would be difficult. How would we know all the coins were lost and not simply being hoarded? I dunno. I'm sure people a lot smart than myself have come up with solutions already.
i think if the coin hasn't been used (or at very least, sent a keepalive ping) in, say, 100 years - that's reasonable to assume they are 'lost')
Of course people purchase Bitcoins without that limitation in place. Changing it after the fact would be a loss of faith. I personally would consider it stealing.
as for the hard limit of 21 million BTC -- this is FAR too low if BTC is ever to be used as a serious currency. otherwise, if this is a hard limit & nobody is willing to up it - we will just end up trading in nano-cents, thus technically creating "more" credit anyway.
The point is you aren't making more units so the value of the unit will retain value.
If it makes you feel better there are 21 trillion Satoshis. The current exchange rate is 1 million Saotshis ~= $6 USD.
21 millions base units is fine. Hell a single base unit would be fine too.