A cryptocurrency analyst, Timothy Peterson claims that 1,500 bitcoins are lost every day, which means that only 14 million BTC.
The figure disagrees with the estimate of many organizations, including Markets.bitcoin.com, which put the figure at 18.5 million coins, he learned. CryptomonedaseICO.
Still, Peterson, who is the CAIA Manager at Cane Island Alternative Advisors, argues the merits of his claims by pointing out how this average daily loss dwarfs the 900 bitcoins mined every day.
Additionally, to support his claim, Peterson points to a research note published by his organization earlier in the year. In the five-page document, the term “irretrievably lost” is introduced into the bitcoin lexicon.
Explaining the term, the research note says that the hopelessly lost bitcoins represent funds or “money (that) is gone, no longer part of any economy anywhere.” The document adds that such bitcoins “cannot be transacted and the cost of recovery exceeds the value obtained from a successful recovery.”
According to Bitcoin.com support, “all bitcoin transactions are irreversible, so there is no way to reverse a transaction that has already been sent.”
In fact, there are numerous cases of people misplacing or losing private keys, thus permanently losing access to their funds.
At the beginning of the week, the story of how hackers have tried for years to crack a bitcoin wallet believed to contain 69,370 coins, which cannot be accessed.
Meanwhile, after arguing their case, the Cane Island Alternative Advisors team says that, based on their own methodology used in previous research, they were able to estimate that:
Since 2010, about 4% of the available supply of bitcoins has been lost each year. This puts the current available supply at approximately 13.9 million coins, well below the published total supply figure of 18.3 million. This means that around 28% of all bitcoins have been irretrievably lost.
To back up their claims, the Cane Island Alternative Advisors team refers to previous studies on the same topic, first by Ratliff in 2014 and Chainalysis in 2017. The Cane Island Alternative Advisors was published on April 16, 2020.
Meanwhile, some bitcoiners challenged Peterson following his Sept. 14 tweet about the decline in the supply of bitcoins. Others, like Bitcoin Rabbi, felt that the figure of 1,500 bitcoins being lost every day is very high.
Every day about 900 new #bitcoin worth $9,000,000 are created. Every day about 1,500 bitcoin worth $15,000,000 are lost forever. Supply is shrinking, not growing. See “There Will Never Be More Than 14 Million Bitcoins” https://t.co/aaCqAGEbFd
— Timothy Peterson (@nsquaredcrypto) September 14, 2020
However, in his response, Peterson says:
“(The) Chainalysis report, if you do the math, says 1900 per day to / or December 2017. My numbers are more conservative than that.”
Still, the research note does not provide links to the Chainalysis report in question. Another Twitter user questions the research findings arguing that “they imply that in 30 years 21 million bitcoins will be lost.”
While some argue that Peterson’s claims are an exaggeration, there is agreement that the actual circulating supply figure could be less than the 18.5 million that are often reported.
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