Nearly one-third of bitcoin’s circulating supply possibly lost: report
Crypto.news – Recent data from blockchain analytics company IntoTheBlock indicates that approximately 29% of the total supply, which has remained stagnant for over five years, might be lost forever.
Fresh data unveiled by the blockchain analytics firm, IntoTheBlock, reveals that close to 29% of Bitcoin’s total circulating supply might be lost forever, showing no signs of movement for over five years. This highlights an inherent attribute of Bitcoin (BTC) – its scarcity – as only 21 million coins can ever be mined. However, the very feature that augments Bitcoin’s appeal to investors is a double-edged sword, leading to the risk of irreversible asset loss if private keys are mislaid or forgotten.
IntoTheBlock recently brought attention to the substantial surge in dormant Bitcoin addresses. “Our data shows that 29% of $BTC hasn’t moved in over five years. It’s possible that a large part of this concerns lost coins,” the company noted in their tweet.
On-chain metrics monitor Glassnode Alerts added weight to these findings, indicating that the total quantity of HODLed or lost Bitcoins has reached an all-time high of 7,781,224.168 BTC. Given the current price of a single Bitcoin hovers around $30,000, this represents more than $235 billion in BTC potentially lost forever.
Bitcoin’s future under the shadow of lost assets
Over the past year, institutional interest in Bitcoin has seen a significant increase, with companies such as MicroStrategy expanding their BTC portfolio. The uptick in static addresses might suggest that more individuals and entities are adopting bitcoin as a long-term investment strategy rather than for immediate trading or spending. However, it may also imply a substantial volume of Bitcoin being lost permanently, particularly by early adopters.
Considering early investors’ propensity to cash in on the enormous price increase of Bitcoin, the latter possibility appears more likely. Over the years, Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed, making even modest quantities from the early days incredibly valuable now. If these investors still had access to these inactive Bitcoin addresses, it’s reasonable to assume they would have been activated by now.
As BTC continues its journey towards mainstream acceptance, many individuals, drawn by the prospects, have entered the cryptocurrency realm without fully grasping how to properly secure their private keys. A notable example is Stefan Thomas, a San Francisco-based programmer who’s unable to access his Bitcoin holdings – a hefty 7,002 Bitcoins – simply because he can’t recollect the password to his digital wallet.
With Bitcoin’s supply capped, its increasing scarcity, compounded by lost coins, could further enhance its attractiveness as a store of value. This, in turn, could potentially fuel a price increase due to growing demand and reduced supply.
This article was originally published on Crypto.news