A new study has found that nearly a third of the approximately 17.3 million Bitcoin tokens in circulation right now are lost. These include tokens that are either lost or have not been utilized and are considered to be lost.
The report comes from Diar and Chainalaysis, two separate blockchain research groups. The research states that specifically 36 percent of all tokens, or about 6.2 million of them, are lost. That is, the tokens are unavailable for use and are not available for trading.
Why Are the Tokens Lost?
The tokens that are lost may be in this state for various reasons. In many cases, people who had tokens might have lost their bitcoin wallets and their access codes for them. Since it is impossible to recover a password for a wallet, many of these coins might be unavailable for use because there is no way how anyone can access those tokens.
Also, there are concerns that some people might have tried to hold onto their coins and might not have recalled that they had them. These issues might have caused some people to forget that they have currencies on hand and that they can use them; part of this might come from those people having other investments, although the reasons for this will vary.
The most important development surrounding the loss of these bitcoin tokens is that the scarcity of the bitcoin has become more prominent in recent time. The bitcoin has a cap of 21 million tokens that can be produced. With about 3.7 million coins yet to be mined and the process for mining them evolving to be more complicated, the scarcity of those coins is expected to increase even further. This is believed to be a mechanism designed to possibly increase the value of the token.
But with many of the mined bitcoins that have been lost, there is a chance that the scarcity of the bitcoins could become a more significant issue for the currency. Whether the lost tokens involved would make an impact on the market and how the value of the coin changes remains to be seen at this point.
Another Big Detail
One other consideration surrounding the bitcoin is that many speculators are holding onto the bitcoin and are not using it. About 22 percent of the current supply of tokens is estimated as being held by speculators. Meanwhile, investors in the currency hold a stake of about 30 percent in the current supply. The total has reduced the amount of tokens being transferred regularly, although this may keep the infrastructure for the currency from being as strong as it had been in the past.
Although the scarcity of the Bitcoin appears to be much greater than what has been expected, the currency has not received any changes in its value as a result of the news. The currency has been hovering at around the $6,500 mark for much of the past month without much of a change in its value. Experts continue to argue that the currency will only continue to grow in value.