Monday, November 27th 2017

We Need a Lost Cryptocurrency Crawler: 4 Million Bitcoins Lost in the Ether

Cryptocurrencies as they currently are implemented are one of the most divisive subjects among the tech and economic communities in recent years. No, really; it's reached a kind of "Hayek vs Keynes" level of argument in the later. But one thing can't be denied: some early adopters of the technology have cashed in thoroughly and profoundly on the leading cryptocurrencies. The fact that Bitcoin has appreciated some 340% in the last six months (around $7,300 value increase in a single coin of the cryptocurrency) means many people more will see unbelievable surges in their net worth. Today, a single Bitcoin is trading for around $9,530 - and this is a cryptocurrency that, in its infancy, was being used to trade at rates of thousands of Bitcoin per pizza.

However, as with every currency, there's inevitable losses; paper money has seen its fair share of that, and galleons and caravels filled with gold up to the mast used to sink in oceans all around the world. But cryptocurrency is a digital currency; it's impossible for it to deteriorate away, to be lost with your wallet, or any other exceedingly sad case of lost value. Right? Well, not so; it's encryption algorithm ensures that for users to be able to access the contents of their digital wallets, they have to know the password. And many passwords have been lost and forgotten. Some users have even thrown away HDDs with wallets containing thousands of Bitcoin, and some have even lost their hardware wallets.
A new study by blockchain analysts Chainalisys says that the amount of Bitcoins actually lost in the system is of around 3.79M coins - which today, would amount to around $20B lost, somewhere in random bits and bytes across the world. Remember that the total, finite supply of Bitcoin stands at 21M Bitcoins - this means around 20% of the total possible circulating value of this currency is already lost. Whether or not this amount of lost Bitcoin is already represented in the overall Bitcoin pricing remains to be seen (remember that lower supply usually translates to higher demand and correspondingly higher value).
Sources: Fortune, The Verge, Original Sources: Chainalysis
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13 Comments on We Need a Lost Cryptocurrency Crawler: 4 Million Bitcoins Lost in the Ether

#2
neatfeatguy
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
You win the internet and it shuts off.....


Well, probably not, but wouldn't that be a surprise?
Posted on Reply
#3
Bones
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
Once it's all been mined you then grab a large plastic bucket and hold it under the front of your PC, start the mining program and then press the eject button on your CD/DVD/BR drive - If you're the 151,183,487,833,348,751,947,821,454th tray eject request, the tray will open and ALL of those coins will come out.
Just make sure you use a large enough bucket to catch 'em all.
Posted on Reply
#4
RejZoR
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
They'll just made up another one. And another one. And another one. It's like printing more money. LOL
Posted on Reply
#5
jaggerwild
LOL @ you win the internet and it shuts off! :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#6
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
They'll move to solving 512-bit encryption hashes. Mining will never go away as long as technology advances.
Posted on Reply
#7
Boosnie
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
Seriously though, when there will be nothing left to mine, they will charge a fraction of a bitcoin for every transaction to pay the verificator(miner) of that transaction.
So to pay a bitcoin you need to pay 1.0005BTC.
Exactly how banks do it today.
Probably, they will eventually grow the block size to 32Mb and then we'll have a new bank circuit run by exactly the same people ho run visa today.
Posted on Reply
#8
W1zzard
Boosnie said:
Seriously though, when there will be nothing left to mine, they will charge a fraction of a bitcoin for every transaction to pay the verificator(miner) of that transaction.
So to pay a bitcoin you need to pay 1.0005BTC.
Exactly how banks do it today.
Probably, they will eventually grow the block size to 32Mb and then we'll have a new bank circuit run by exactly the same people ho run visa today.
That's exactly what I expect to happen too, and this is when things will get interesting.

Btw, fun fact, the power consumption to verify a single transaction is around $25 due to electricity consumption for mining.
Posted on Reply
#9
Boosnie
W1zzard said:

Btw, fun fact, the power consumption to verify a single transaction is around $25 due to electricity consumption for mining.
If someone in here has a significant amount of BTC in their wallet, I suggest to buy real goods or services with that.
The blockchain as a verification technology is something we could use in day to day transactions, but I think that assigning a value to it's constituents is not going to be sustainable in the long run.
The blockchain is a tool and our first craft with it (BTC) is not the best ever seen, really.
Posted on Reply
#10
ppn
Just because people are buying it it doesnt mean it is worth something. And besides how do we know that they are not rigging it and selling it among themselves, a select group of people and the rest are just being dragged along with it at current prices. and the asking price for conversion. is 12.5 euros.... the same as forex people are just playing with you..
Posted on Reply
#11
Hedgemon
ppn said:
Just because people are buying it it doesnt mean it is worth something. And besides how do we know that they are not rigging it and selling it among themselves, a select group of people and the rest are just being dragged along with it at current prices. and the asking price for conversion. is 12.5 euros.... the same as forex people are just playing with you..
Hi, You must be new to currencies and the internet.
Here is a quick guide on why any currency is worth anything, bitcoin in particular.
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/100314/why-do-bitcoins-have-value.asp

Thanks! :)
Posted on Reply
#12
Airbrushkid
With Bitcoin there will only be 21,000,000 coin ever mined! There are Altcoins like Eth, Zcash etc.
Posted on Reply
#13
R-T-B
Ahhzz said:
I do have a question. what happens when all of the coins are "mined"?
To seriously answer your question, bitcoins theory is that transaction fees become the new block reward.

This is plausable, but it makes spending bitcoin insanely expensive. We are already seeing this problem with like dollar high or more transaction fees.

Bitcoin as it stands is a dying beast. There is future in it's ideas however.

ppn said:
Just because people are buying it it doesnt mean it is worth something.
Actually, it does, if only for the present.
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