27 May 2020
We all know that 21 million Bitcoins is all that is ever going to be but are all Bitcoins utilized? The answer would be - No, some Bitcoins are lost in the crypto-space forever and well that some by Researchers are estimated to be somewhere around a full 64% of Bitcoin that have never been spent.
The reason for the loss of Bitcoin could be anything from the person forgetting to a person dying who possess the Bitcoin. But the question that still stands is what happens to the Bitcoin when they are lost? Are they to be considered?
Every Bitcoin transaction is verified and stored in a block by the miner with the help of blockchain technology. Hence, every transaction that ever occurred exists in the blockchain. Blockchain consists of a public ledger that includes and stores every transaction that has ever been made with Bitcoin and due to the theory of Genesis block, each block can be traced back.
As per Grey Schvey, a Bitcoin researcher said that it is tough to tell apart lost bitcoins and those which are just being saved for a rainy day.
Here is the grey line, as the unused bitcoin stands in the blockchain, it becomes difficult to understand whether it is inaccessible for temporary or permanently.
“Each address has ownership of a certain number of coins”, “As long as we see any amount of coin come out of that address, we know that since the same person has access to all the bitcoins at that address, they’re not lost.”
The estimated number of Bitcoins gone
Just the stolen Bitcoins cannot really be considered into the lost Bitcoin category as thieves have access to those crypto coins.
A bitcoin can be lost over various reasons - it could have been misplaced, the person possessing the bitcoin might have died without giving its information to anyone, could be a hardware failure, or can even be careless behavior of its user.
There are so many stories revolving around how people have lost their Bitcoins and it is surprising to realize that many of them are due to plain carelessness! However, it was more common back then to lose bitcoin than now as bitcoin did not have the hype that it has now.
Also Read, Stories Of People Losing Their Bitcoins!
Can lost Bitcoins be recover?
There are tutorials available on the internet to recover bitcoins for difficulties faced by technical issues and even many exchanges or cryptocurrency platforms provide assistance to recover their Bitcoin wallets.
But also on the other side, be it any reason for the loss of Bitcoin, its underlying technological system is so secure that it is strongly impossible to recover the lost Bitcoin.
However, the Wallet Recovery Services talk about how recovery is so not that impossible and have a chance to be recovered, “if you were pretty sure that your passphrase contained words from a sentence from ‘The Return of the King’, but you’ve forgotten which page, then we can help.”
Bitcoin is considered one of the top cryptocurrency and it’s in demand!
Grey Schvey added,
“Presumably the rate of losing coins will go down because people are very much careful about how they are stored,” “People are investing so much money into mining Bitcoin, they’ll take proper practices.”
Precaution is better than cure
You can consider and execute certain factors on safeguarding and being careful about your Bitcoin then be sorry later.
We have listed few measures you can take to prevent your Bitcoin from loosing:
- Keep your Bitcoin wallet encrypted.
- Always have a backup on your Bitcoin wallet.
- Be diligent while making Bitcoin transactions.
- You can utilize password managers to generate and store your passwords.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great deal to safeguard any accounts related to your Bitcoin.
- Consider storing your Bitcoin in Cold storage or Hardware wallet.
- Seek legal advice for future situations - such as in case something happens to you, your trusted closed ones or your family shall have the access.
The rate of people losing their Bitcoin has reduced and people are much aware and careful now.
However also on the other end, Satoshi Nakamoto stated,
“Lost Bitcoin only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.”