It has been estimated currently there are over 6 million BTC have been lost forever, due to a multitude of reasons such as lost private keys, abandoned or forgotten wallets and accidental deletion.
According to Timothy Peterson, an investment advisor at Cane Island Alternative Advisors, over 31% of the current BTC circulation supply is lost forever.
Peterson also predicts that another one million coins will be lost by the time the remaining 1.7 million BTC are mined.
+7 million Bitcoin that will be out of circulation forever.
While this may seem like bad news, for the holders of Bitcoin, it's very positive.
Most Common Reasons for Lost Bitcoins:
Bitcoins can be lost for several reasons:
- Forgetting or losing private keys: Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet that is secured by a private key. If the private key is lost, the bitcoins cannot be accessed, and they will remain in the wallet forever.
- Accidental deletion: Bitcoin wallets are often stored on electronic devices such as computers or smartphones. If the device is lost or damaged, or if the wallet file is accidentally deleted, the bitcoins stored in the wallet may be lost forever.
- Hard drive failure: If the hard drive on which a Bitcoin wallet is stored fails, the wallet and its contents may be irretrievably lost.
- Abandoned or forgotten wallets: Some Bitcoin users may have created wallets and stored bitcoins in them, only to forget about them or abandon them. These wallets and their contents may be lost forever if the private keys are not backed up or if the wallet files are lost.
Overall, the decentralized nature of Bitcoin means that there is no central authority that can restore lost or stolen bitcoins. Once bitcoins are lost, they cannot be recovered, which is why it's important for Bitcoin users to take steps to protect their wallets and private keys.
The Moral --> Don't Lose Your Keys
The biggest reason for lost Bitcoins is forgotten private keys. Bitcoin is different than a traditional bank or financial institution in that there are no offices, no support telephone number, and no one to contact if you lose your cryptocurrency. The most common way people lose their cryptocurrency is by losing their keys, which is why it's very important to safeguard your cryptocurrency keys at all times.
While it is estimated there will be +7 million Bitcoins in total lost forever, for those who hold Bitcoin, this is great news.
The Good News
There is a silver lining to all of this. The total supply of Bitcoin is capped at a maximum of 21 million Bitcoins and with over 1/3 estimated to be lost, there will only be just over 13 million Bitcoin in circulation.
With such a limited supply of the world's most well-known and trusted cryptocurrency, this decreasing limited supply combined with increasing international demand will only continue to increase the price of Bitcoin.