Users Lost Access To Bitcoins Worth $20-25 Billion, Says Research Firm Chainalyis

The lost fortune: An estimated 3.7 million bitcoins are “floating in the proverbial ether” , meaning that while valid no one has direct control or access.

The current worth of these “lost or probably lost” assets is $20-25 billion. If accurate this would amount to a fifth of all Bitcoins. These findings come from Chainalysis, a crypto currency research firm. That people loose access. their password or other knowledge how to retrieve cryptocurrencies is not entirely new. But amount is worrying and raising questions. 

Because one of the promised benefits of cryptocurrencies was the hope to bypass banks or other middlemen, charging for transactions and services. Now, partially due to complexity and fast development, it shows that many people might have lost their digital wallets. 

As a result there is increasing pressure to come up with solutions to protect such assets. Ironically, according to a comment from the “Financial Times” a typical solution is to work with a custodian or other third party to ensure that access and ownership of cryptocurrency assets are secured. So, in other words, there seems to be a future for banks – either old or new. Another article from the “Wall Street Journal” describes such services as the “metal detector of the digital age”. 

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