[bitcoin-dev] BIP - Dead Man's Switch

Teweldemedhin Aberra teweldemat at gmail.com
Mon Dec 11 17:30:37 UTC 2017

It is estimated that about 4 million of the about 16.4 Bitcoins ever mined
are lost forever because no one knows the private keys of some Bitcoin
addresses. This effectively mean there are actually only 14.4 million
Bitcoins in circulation even though 16.4 million are mined. There is no way
of eliminating the human errors that cause these losses of Bitcoin from
circulation, while the number of Bitcoin that will ever be mined is capped
at 21 million. This means the total number of Bitcoins that are in
circulation will eventually become zero, bringing the network to an end.

The solution this BIP proposes is to implementing a dead man's switch to
Bitcoin addresses. The dead man's switch causes the Bitcoins assigned to
dormant addresses to automatically expire. A Bitcoin address is deemed
dormant if it is not used in transactions for some fixed length of time,
say ten years.

The calculation of the miner's reward should take into account the Bitcoins
that has expired. This means there is a possibility that miner's reward can
increase if sufficient number of Bitcoins expire.



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