About a quarter of bitcoins are lost forever – Research
The maximum Bitcoin issue of 21 million BTC will be exhausted by 2140, but it is expected that the number of coins that will be in circulation by this time will be significantly lower. This is the conclusion reached by analysts of the Chainalysis company, who conducted an analysis of the blockchain based on empirical data, and shared several interesting findings..
So, researchers argue that from 2.78 million to 3.79 million bitcoins are lost forever, which is from 17% to 23% of the bitcoins existing today..
This number includes 1,041,715 BTC belonging to the creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto and his associates, who mined them in the early years of the existence of the cryptocurrency, as well as the share of bitcoins issued from 2 to 7 years ago, some of which, most likely, are in wallets long-term investors.
At the same time, this number did not include bitcoins stolen by hackers, since the likelihood that they are still or may be in circulation is high..
It is expected that the number of lost bitcoins will increase over time, but the rate of bitcoin exit from circulation will be much lower, as users have become more attentive to their savings along with the growth of the cryptocurrency rate..
Chainalysis did not disclose details of its research method. The company said that, among other data, it took into account the activity associated with forks, the occurrence of which can force the user to demonstrate activity, even if he has not made transactions for several years..
In addition, when calculating the lost bitcoins, Chainalysis used messages from users on the Internet, who wrote that, for one reason or another, they lost access to their wallets..
And finally, Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoins, mined by him before 2011, when the complexity of mining was incomparably lower than today. According to Chainalysis’s calculations, there are more than a million bitcoins in his wallets, which were also recorded as lost. However, if Chainalysis’s assumption turns out to be wrong, the number of bitcoins in circulation could skyrocket, which could be a serious shock to the market..