According to on-chain analytics firm Cypherock, at least 6 million Bitcoins would be lost forever. Now, according to the analysis, 13.4 million Bitcoins should still be in circulation. According to Timothy Peterson, manager of Cane Island Alternative Advisors, he would have confirmed that the number of lost Bitcoins would settle at around 6 million.
It is expected that with 1.7 million Bitcoins added over the next 100 years, a similar amount will be lost again over the same period. The influencer The Bitcoin Researcher, has lowered this estimate, insisting that the number of BTC in circulation is actually 15.5 million, based on the assumption that the tokens never moved in the last seven years are now considered lost.
About the bitcoin: what they are and what they work
The Bitcoin network allows for the pseudo-anonymous possession and transfer of coins; the data necessary to use one's bitcoins can be saved on one or more personal computers or electronic devices such as smartphones, in the form of a digital wallet, or kept with third parties that perform functions similar to a bank.
The bitcoin wallet has an address identified by an alphanumeric code that has between 25 and 36 characters between numbers and letters. This is the only data to be communicated to receive a payment that will enjoy a certain degree of anonymity, but will be publicly and immutably visible on the blockchain forever.
You must be very careful when transmitting the alphanumeric code as any errors do not allow you to cancel the operation and cause the loss of money. You can receive payments more simply by scanning QR codes. In any case, bitcoins can be transferred across the Internet to anyone with a bitcoin address.
The peer-to-peer structure of the Bitcoin network and the lack of a central body make it impossible for any authority, governmental or otherwise, to block transfers, seize bitcoins without possession of the relevant keys or devalue due to the entry of new currency.
Bitcoin is one of the earliest implementations of a concept defined as a cryptocurrency, first described in 1996 by Wei Dai on a mailing list.