Over the years, millions of Bitcoin have been lost forever due to people forgetting or losing their keys, or possibly passing away without passing on their keys. With each passing year, this number grows and more BTC is lost. Now, this number is estimated to have crossed 6 million, which is quite bullish for the digital asset.
Six Million BTC Are Out Of Circulation Forever
In a tweet, a manager at Cane Island Alternative Advisors, an investment advisory firm, revealed that the number of lost Bitcoins has crossed 6 million. Timothy Peterson shared this over the weekend where he explained that of the 19.3 million BTC that have been mined so far, there are only 13.3 million currently available. Going by Peterson’s numbers, over 31% of the current Bitcoin circulation supply is lost forever.
I estimate that, as of this week, 6 million of the 19.3 million #bitcoin mined have been irretrievably lost. (See related research at https://t.co/ULso76SXjD ) This means 13.3 million remain with only 1.7 million left to be mined over the next 100+ years. In that time, it's… pic.twitter.com/WpiSNT9TSF
— Timothy Peterson, CFA CAIA (@nsquaredcrypto) March 25, 2023
The investment manager further went on to state that another one million coins are expected to be lost by the time the remaining 1.7 million BTC are mined, which would take over 100 years with a halving happening every four years. Thus, “The 13 million circulating now is probably all you will have access to in your lifetime,” Peterson concludes.
Peterson shared a link to a 2020 study from Cane Island Alternative Advisors which showed at the time that about 4 million BTC were lost forever, with the claims that there will never be more than 14 million BTC in circulation. However, the investment manager did not back his most recent claims with data.
Lost Bitcoin Good For Price?
Bitcoin already has a limited supply, which has been a boon for its value, but with millions of coins being lost as well, it reduces the already limited supply. If Peterson is correct and there will only be 14 million BTC in existence even when all 21 million are mined, then the value of Bitcoin could skyrocket beyond expectations.
BTC price trending below $28,000 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
BTC has no official burn, but other projects such as Shiba Inu have taken the burning approach to reduce the supply of the token and increase its value in the process. This works basically the same way for any asset, if supply remains lower than demand, then the value of that asset will continue to rise.
Cane Island Alternative Advisors acknowledges in its 2020 research note that the demand for BTC has been on the rise. “By all accounts, bitcoin demand has increased over time. Every metric – active addresses, transaction counts, hash rates, etc. has shown increased demand for bitcoin. Since price has also increased over that time, we can conclude that the increase in demand has outpaced the increase in supply.”
As Bitcoin adoption is expected to accelerate over the next few years and more BTC are lost, BTC at six figures become an even more likely reality.