Jameson Loop, a former lead engineer at BitGo and CasaHODL, has recently made an interesting claim on the Building on Bitcoin conference which has happened this week. According to him, 4 million BTC is lost forever and 2 million BTC is stolen. This means that 6 million BTC of the total supply will be permanently lost forever.
In case you do not know how Bitcoin works, you should know that only 21 million BTC will be ever made. The reward for mining blocks will continually be halved with time and there is a point in which more BTC will simply not be mined anymore.
This was made by the original creator of Bitcoin, a man (or woman?) only known as Satoshi, as a way to ensure that the value Bitcoin will never suffer from inflation and lose its value, only becoming more and more valuable.
Given that 21 million BTC is the most that can ever be mined, 28.5% of all the Bitcoin in the world is lost forever. There is already 17 million BTC in circulation, which means that only 11 million BTC can be used with 4 million BTC more to come.
The Current Bitcoin Price Does Not Take Lost Bitcoin Into Account
Kim Grauer, an economist from a cryptocurrency and blockchain analytics company called Chainalysis, has recently stated that as the market is very speculative and new, it is hard to take the price of the lost tokens into account.
According to him, direct calculations about market cap do not take lost coins into consideration, but it is hard to tell for sure the impact of these lost tokens just yet. The specialist believes that only when the number of Bitcoin is maxed out it will be really possible to be actually sure how this will impact the price of the Bitcoin.
The current value of Bitcoin at the time of this report is $6,700 USD. However, this price takes the market cap as being 17 million BTC instead of 11 million BTC. According to calculations, the value of the coin could be $10,300 if this was taken into account.
This could mean that the market is analyzing the Bitcoin market wrong and that there are considerably fewer tokens in the market than people actually believe.
There Will Never Be 21 Million Bitcoin In The Market
In the end, what does this mean? Many experts have claimed that the price of Bitcoin can go from $100,000 USD to a couple of million dollars because only 21 million BTC will ever exist. If the actual number is more close to 15 million BTC (or even lower as more Bitcoin can be lost or hacked), this means that the value of the token could be even bigger than it these positive predictions state.