This isn’t really brought up a lot in the bitcoin community. But a lot of bitcoins are actually lost forever, never to be used or profited off of again.
They aren’t controlled by a central authority, more can’t be printed. But bitcoins can be mined, the total number of bitcoins that will ever be available to the world is 21 million. There are already 16 million out there. Almost a third of that 16 million has been lost, pretty much because of human foolish and negligence.
Ridiculous bitcoin losses.
Take James Howells for example. He accidentally tossed a hard drive that he was meaning to save in the trash. On his hard drive, he had 7,500 bitcoins, which over $70 million dollars. James has spent quite a bit of time digging through local landfills trying to find his lost fortune. The pain of knowing that you are the owner of millions, while not being able to access them is probably extremely hard to bare.
I knew of a gentleman who was going through the process of purchasing computer gear online using bitcoins back in 2013. If I recall correctly, 1 bitcoin cost about $120-150 when misfortune struck. He had made the transfer; however, the platform had gone down as soon as he sent out the BTC. So, not only did he lose his 8-6 bitcoins back then, he never got his parts too, and developed a distrust towards the community.
If he had just held on to his bitcoins and used fiats, he would have been sitting on $58,000-$75,000 right now. In fact, to this day, he sees himself as a victim of a scam.
When I was younger and in high-school, one of my teachers offered us some extra credit grade points and bitcoins for completing an assignment. I’m not sure that he could have ever imagined their price to skyrocket as much as it has, well, neither did. Nor did I care back then. I did the assignment more for the bonus points rather than the bitcoins.
Unfortunately, I thought nothing of the “wallet address” and “how-to access your coins” instructions on the piece of paper that my teacher gave me. Ultimately, I ended up tossing it when I was cleaning my bag out a few weeks later.
I sort of fell out of the whole crypto loop after that, everything crept back into my attention when bitcoins started going for around $3,000. Sigh, I think I tossed about 20-30 in the trash during spring cleaning.
Feelings of Bitcoin Blues and death.
Over the summer, I met with a good friend of mine to smoke some cigar’s, share a drink, and talk about whiskey. A conversation about cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and bitcoins came up between us. Well, another gentleman who was there, can’t exactly remember his name or where he was from, interjected in our conversation.
Apparently, the man amassed quite a bit of bitcoins over the years by simply following his gut instincts and stocking up on them, as well as doing some business on the dark web. He didn’t tell me how many he had, but apparently, it was enough to forget about work and any financial troubles until the end of his days.
Unfortunately, his gut led him to meet a woman who ended up stealing all of his internet money. Somehow, she found out about his assets, got a hold of his password, found his seed file in his email and looted all of his BTC.
He regrets being lazy and not implementing 2FA. The stranger brought his story to an end by saying that he has thought about taking his own life a few times, thankfully he hasn’t, and that he feels like a sucker whenever he looks at the Blockchain transaction that moved all of his lost fortune.
Always be careful.
People, the bitcoin will never cost as much as it did two or three years ago. You need to always be vigilant and protect your livelihood.
Be careful with your wallet backups, seed files, passwords, and please, don’t be like the individual I mentioned, enable 2FA.
According to ChainAnalysis, almost 4 million bitcoins are lost. Some are stored in forever lost wallets, tossed away hard drives, sealed away by Satoshi Nakamoto, and some thrown away papers with private keys.
Imagine how many “potential” millionaires or very wealthy people could spring up if they regained access to their BTC?
Let this post be a lesson and eye opener for you. Always take special care of your assets, you never know when you might stumble against the next gold mine.