Provided you have some of your savings stored in a bank or you have a will your fiat currency and the stuff you own will be inherited by your family. But what about your bitcoins? and other tokens that you have in your hyper secure hardware wallet?
If we take a look at the times this has happened, we can observe that usually bitcoins are lost forever. This is because any veteran trader, staker or miner will have their earnings secured in a wallet to avoid hackers taking their money.
A fortune lost forever
However, if you are one of those people that have 14-digit passwords, you might want to write it down on your will or somewhere safe were your family could find it after you are gone. Recently a billionaire by the name of Mircea Popescu died taking a fortune of 1 billion dollars in Bitcoin with him.
Jhon Mcaffe also died this June and his crypto assets might be lost forever, and in 2019 Gerald Cotten’s founder also died with the keys to 135 million dollars in cryptocurrency.
Other famous cases involve the loss of the passwords to bitcoin assets or the drives that carried them, like UK citizen James Howells who lost his laptop drive cleaning his home with 7 thousand bitcoins inside (around 255 million dolars).
To summarize all this, there are approximately 4 million bitcoins that are unaccounted for and cannot be recovered. These are worth 30 billion US dollars.
What lots coins means for the market?
Since there is a limited amount of bitcoin being traded, such losses make the existing coins that can actually be used slightly more valuable. Although the deaths of these magnates are tragic, (specially for investors of their companies), users see those lost coins as a donation for them.
Is there something that can be done?
The problem with the wallets being so secure, is that its nearly impossible to hack one although it can be done. However, this usually happens when the user of the wallet makes a transaction in a vulnerable machine or is victim of a con artist.
Since this is impossible to do without the password on hardware wallets, virtual wallets are considering the usage of crypto currency wills.
This project consists of proving that the person has died and to have a testament and last will that states that their crypto assets need to pass them to another wallet if the requirements are met. For example, if the owner disappeared or died as a cause of an accident.
Coinbase is one of the pioneers on this aspect, with the submission of the death certificate along with the last will and testament of the owner, individuals can transfer crypto assets in case of inheritance.
Although is a step forward, most of the time traders don’t keep their life savings in platforms like Coinbase or any exchange or software wallet. As a conclusion it would be advisable to at least have one person of trust to know our wallet password to avoid losing our hard earned money.