The pioneering cryptocurrency Bitcoin is worth a small fortune, about 20% is gone forever and can never be undone.
Although more than 18.5 million BTCs have been minted, some of these Bitcoins are inaccessible, reducing the circulating supply. Bitcoin can be lost, burned, or taken out of circulation and forgotten.
The Bitcoin supply was capped at 21 million. This means that unless there are drastic changes in Bitcoin’s supply mechanism, there will never be more than 21 million BTC in circulation.
Due to Bitcoin’s controlled supply mechanism, only about 18.59 million Bitcoins were minted. Despite this, the actual amount of BTC available for use or trading is much lower than the circulating supply would suggest, as a large portion of the Bitcoin supply is lost beyond recovery.
Because they need to access their private key or recovery phrase to transfer their Bitcoins, anyone who loses access to them also loses the ability to spend their funds. Although most of the time this results in a small amount, there are instances where thousands of Bitcoins were lost in a single scan.
According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, nearly 3.7 million BTC has not been touched for at least half a decade. This means about $ 40.6 billion worth of BTC that will never be moved again.