Losing something that does not even exist in physical form sounds weird, but when it is a digital currency that is as important as physical money is lost, it calls for huge concern. Yes, digital currencies like bitcoins can be lost, but how? This article will put light on all your queries.
How Does Bitcoin Get Lost?
Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet called the ‘bitcoin wallet’. Each wallet address has ownership of a certain number of bitcoins, and each transaction can be traced back to the individual wallets from where the coins are being circulated. But when the owner loses access to their bitcoin wallets or dies, the coins remain unspent, and this is when they are called ‘lost’. These unspent bitcoins that cannot be traced back to any wallet address are considered to be lost. However, stolen bitcoins are not considered the lost coins because the thieves still have access to the stolen coins.
As bitcoin is a finite digital asset with a finite supply capped at 21 million, whenever anyone loses bitcoin, the circulating supply of the coins decreases, thereby affecting the entire economy based on cryptocurrencies. Bitcoins are lost in either of the following ways:
1) Discarding Old Devices
With the upgradation of technology, crypto enthusiasts quickly adapt themselves to modern technologies and eventually discard their old devices, unfortunately forgetting about their bitcoins stored in them. If the bitcoins are stored on any cryptocurrency platforms, then there are fewer chances of bitcoins getting lost. On the contrary, if the bitcoins are stored in your computer’s hard drive, discarding the computer would mean huge losses of bitcoins.
2) Death of Bitcoin Owners Without Passing the Bitcoins Fortune to the Predecessors
Suppose a crypto owner passes away without passing the credentials of his crypto wallet to anyone. In that case, the bitcoins are lost as nobody will be able to access them after the owner’s death, and the bitcoins would remain unspent. So, it is better to include details of the crypto wallet in the will so that the deceased’s family can access them at ease.
3) Sending Bitcoins to a Wrong Address
Sending bitcoins to an incorrect wallet address may lead to bitcoin losses as bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed, and therefore, it is impossible to retrieve them. Therefore, be very cautious when you are typing a wallet address to send your coins.
4) Forgetting Your Private Keys
Forgetting your bitcoin wallet’s private key codes is like forgetting the password of your safe, without which you cannot open it. Thus, forgetting your bitcoin wallet’s private keys will result in the bitcoins stored in to remain unused and unspent because no one can access them.
Where Do Lost Bitcoins Go?
The lost coins don’t go anywhere; they remain in the wallet forever. The only thing is the owner loses access to his coins, so the coins remain unspent and are considered lost.
How Can You Avoid Losing Your Bitcoin?
The only way to avoid losing your bitcoins is to be very cautious when dealing with bitcoins. Whenever you send your coins to a particular wallet address, be very diligent while typing the address. Because if you send it to the wrong address, there is no way you can retrieve them as bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed.
Keeping your private keys confidential is very important but do not keep them in a place that might get washed away from your memories because if you lose your private keys, you cannot access your bitcoin wallet.
Upgrade a two-factor upgradation to all the bitcoin-related accounts, and use a password manager to generate a safe password and store it on multiple devices.
Can Lost Bitcoin Be Found or Retrieved?
Whether lost bitcoins can be retrieved or not depends on how they were lost, like whether it is due to irrecoverable passwords or forgotten wallets or due to the bitcoin owner’s death. If you have thrown away your devices that contained your coins or lost or your device is broken, there is no way to retrieve your bitcoins unless you find the device.
As the bitcoin price continues to surge and the long cracking list of bitcoins goes missing, crypto retrieving services are popping up to help people recover their bitcoin wallets. It is like a tool that uses partial key data to retrace the steps. Like if you own some bitcoins, there are chances that you will find bits of information here and there. Accumulate the information and try to find them out. However, the options are very limited, and the services are also not guaranteed.
Previously, one could easily mine or buy thousands of Bitcoins on a normal laptop without paying anything. Getting anything without paying for the cost stirs up psychology that the thing procured does not have any value, so people tend to forget it very soon. This happened to bitcoins owners in the past; they used to get bitcoins so easily that they forgot that they owned them once. But now, as bitcoins’ circulation is decreasing, people have started to value bitcoins, and if they lose bitcoins by mistake, they are looking for ways to retrieve them. However to avoid all this issues you can also choose a secure platform like Immediate Edge. It is a trusted and most authentic Bitcoin robot that can help you to store and trade of Bitcoin.