Bitcoin has a supply cap of 21 million, around 18.7 million circulating supply of the asset is currently being held by miners on the network, Bitcoin investors, including those who have lost theirs forever.
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In a recent episode of Lost Bitcoins, Mark Michaels, a South African man based in Pretoria is the victim, after losing 20 BTC estimated at $900,000. According to reports, Michaels, an electronics engineer, accidentally deleted the private keys to the wallet where the Bitcoins were stored.
Narrating the unfortunate incident, 24-year-old Michaels stated that he had mined that amount of Bitcoin 10 years ago when he was only 14. Using a domestic computer enabled with an Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 graphics card, Michaels mined Bitcoin up to the point where he lost interest, because, at the time, the 20 Bitcoins were only worth 0.58 in South African cents.
Seven years down the line, when the Pretoria-based engineer had gone to check if his mined Bitcoins were still intact and worth any dime, he realized the grievous mistake he had made, which was deleting the access keys to the original Bitcoin wallet software that harbored the crypto fortune.
All attempts to recover the keys from the computer’s hard drive did not yield results. It was at the time that the top crypto asset had shown prospects, and was trading at $1,000. Mark Michaels is over the incident, as he claimed that he is not actively involved in trading cryptocurrencies, but holds various crypto assets just for the fun of it.
Learning about Bitcoin for the first time at an early age, for Michaels, his interest in cryptocurrencies is not a function of the monetary gains but the cool technology that backs them. Micheal also claimed that he now mines the largest altcoin, Ethereum by the side, when his rig is not in use.
Available data puts the number of lost Bitcoins between 3 and 4 million, which means that about 15 million Bitcoins are currently stored in active crypto wallets. The total supply of Bitcoin is projected to be completely mined by 2140.