Suggestion to add in a feature that could make cardano even more unique and future proof

Hey,
So, I’m going to try to make this quick and clear.
There is an issue within cryptocurrencies that has been bothering me.
I believe everybody is aware of this issue but I’m surprised it has not been addressed, even within the Cardano community or any other community (maybe it has and I’m not aware of it ?). Anyway, the issue I want to expose and solve is the locked-up, lost and forgotten cryptocurrencies.

For example the “1 million bitcoins of Satoshi Nakamoto”, that are forever lost and never can be retrieved unless Satoshi himself is alive or somebody finds his keys somehow… There are roughly 3 million bitcoins lost, and that’s just in 11 years, what will happen in the next 100 years ? This isn’t a huge deal if your aim is to make the cryptocurrency as scarce as possible, consequently rising the price up. However, I believe in the case of Cardano, which seeks mass adoption, this is a problem and will be a big problem in the future (maybe not in the next 10 to 50 years but what about 100 or a 1000 years ?). When staking is available, what will happen when millions of people holding millions of “staked” ada lose their keys or die (without having communicated their keys to their family members) ? Also keep in mind the millions of “dust” (tiny amounts of) ada left on millions of accounts (throughout our yet to come history).

To resolve this issue, I believe the answer could be to build in a backup mechanism. It could a built in default setting that transfers inactive funds after a certain period of time (let’s say 5,10 or 20 years) into the treasury or can be remined. So, there could be this default setting for every wallet on the blockchain, but furthermore the user could define backup wallet addresses, to which the funds could be transferred to after a defined period of time (defined by the user) instead of the treasury. To give an example, I could choose to program my funds to be transferred equally (or non-equally) between my family members after 2 years, in case I suddenly die or lose my keys somehow. You could call it a heritage system within the blockchain itself.

Thanks for your attention.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Kind regards,
Aryan

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Hey @Aryan

Imo there is already a backup, thats your seed. Imagine your funds are going to treasury after 20 years of inactivty. II’m buying ADAs to help me get a pension later. My time horizon is far beyond 20 years.

I think your idea is not that bad, but still missing a better concept :stuck_out_tongue:

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Hey @Zyroxa

I don’t believe you understood the issue or the idea. The issue is what will happen to your funds if you suddenly die today or tomorrow. Nothing to do with your pension or how long you expect to live…

yeah i understood that. but the more “backups” or “backdoors” you have, the less secure or the more vulnerable a system gets.

if you use cryptocurrency at this time, its in your own responsibility to make sure that your funds can be recoverabled after you die.

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How could your funds be transferred by anyone other than you? This is a fundamental issue. Of course you can give your keys to anyone you wish. But it would be against the principle of decentralisation for this to be built-in to the system. On the other hand, a smart contract, setup by someone you trust completely (if not yourself), could do this for you.

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So you don’t see an issue with lost funds ? From what I know of nobody lives, for the moment, over 150 years. So you could have the default setting set at 150 years of inactivity. What’s the point of having crypto if you don’t use it in 150 years ?

A “backup” isn’t the same as a “backdoor”, a backup is a voluntary feature built in the code. I don’t see how it would make the system more vulnerable, when there are conditions to this backup, inactivity & time, which are both verifiable facts within the blockchain itself.

Well there is no point in having crypto in your wallet when you’re dead. Better to give it to anyone else than to have it locked up for eternity. I don’t know about you but maybe some people don’t feel comfortable giving their keys out, even to family members, or maybe they haven’t thought about giving them to someone before suddenly dying. That’s why I’m suggesting, you could give the keys to an empty wallet and allow your funds to be transferred after a certain time of inactivity. Now imagine the person you gave the keys to (of the empty backup wallet) also dies without having set up a backup wallet in case death or loss of access keys? Then those funds are lost, unless there is a default backup system.

Besides those points, forget the people for a moment, for the ecosystem of the blockchain, the blockchain itself can’t allow itself to trust people to have personal backups (like giving keys to family members) in case they suddenly die or lose keys. The blockchain, which is decentralized and trustless system, has to find a way to retrieve lost funds, otherwise millions if not billions of ada will be lost throughout the century to come, that’s not a vivable option for a blockchain that seeks mass adoption. It must have a correct amount of circulating supply at all times (even in 500 to 5000 years from now), if it wants to be future proof, sustainable and replace future fiat currency.

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Rob is correct a smart contact can make this happen and you are correct that it’s important. My brother has set up a smart contract to disperse his Eth in a certain number of years on the Ethereum chain. When Cardano soon gets smart contracts you can do it there as well. Wills and estate planning will be a big part of business going forward and I think there will probably be a dedicated DSL (domain specific language) like Marlowe for it. Once oracles like Chainlink get widely used a person’s death could trigger a smart contract.

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For people who have knowledge in programming smart contracts on their own, and those investing in cardano for the long term maybe the issue I’m exposing isn’t really an issue. However in my opinion, the average person who invests small amounts to make profit in the short term isn’t going to think about creating a smart contract for every crypto they temporarily own or the dust ada they left on an account (which could be worth few cents now but hundreds of dollars or euros later on).

It will get easier as time goes on. Also you could leave your coins on an exchange like Coinbase and at that point it’s like a bank account.

But it’s not about me, is it ?

Well, a private wallet is a private wallet. You are the only one with the private key. So yes, if you loose your private key or you die, the wallet is locked up like it should. If you want to pass your funds to your children, than you should put your recovery phrase in a sealed place where your kids only gets access to after you passed away. A wallet on a blockchain is a pure personal thing that only belongs to you, no bank, no company, no other one. So, noone can grant access to it without you. And if 10M ada are lost, then they are lost. This only increases the value of the ada in the supply chain. You care about some ada in 150 years? How much gold do you think got lost in the last 3 thousand years? Does it hurt the gold price?

Multisig solves your problem.

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Only if one of multiple signatures have the right to transfer funds out.

A combination of signatures would be allowed to move funds out of the wallet. Most likely you would want to put some sort of time delay option on it in case of malicious actions. It would be a fairly straight-forward solution to your problem. No need to write anything into the Cardano protocol itself. No reason to confiscate people’s funds if they didn’t move them for a certain amount of time. Lost coins are not the responsibility of the community or the protocol. Each user needs to be in charge of their own coins.

You’re just repeating things I already know. Also does it look like I care about the price ?
Lost gold still exists and accessible after 3000 years, lost ada is not. If you have no ada left in 3000 years, that is a problem. Read and really understand my comments above.

Lost supply is actually a problem to the protocol and the blockchain ecosystem. A whole family, a whole town or a whole city could die out from a virus, an earthquake, a flood, war… You might not see it now, because you can’t see the bigger picture, however a few hundred years from now, you have no idea the number of people that will lose their funds. A protocol that can not retrieve lost funds and with no circulating supply remaining in a few thousand years (i’m being generous), that’s not a currency which is future proof. Anyway, I’m confident even if you guys don’t see it now, it will be integrated within the protocol or within a protocol in the future, when it really becomes an evident problem…

It fully makes sense to address the issue, as it impacts the stability and credibility of the system. If 20% of the ADAs are lost in 30 years because people have died and kept their private key somewhere nobody can access, this is a problem. Smart contracts can indeed address this, but let’s be clear, the blockchain cannot really understand the concept of dying. It can understand the idea of inactivity of a particular wallet. The only way is building voluntarily an automatic sending to a particular wallet (or treasury) of the money after x years of inactivity (to be chosen by the user) after an ultimate verification (email sending or whatever) that the person is not capable of moving its funds alone.
As said, this should be very simple (maybe a dapp will do it), with only: my email address (to check). the wallet adress (es) I want to send the funds to, and the number of months/years inactivity I want. Three simple variables.

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Lost supply has not affected Gold for thousands of years, please give an economist view of how this would affect the currency, it is of my opinion that many ADA are already lost, lost to forgotten pass phrases, home fires, dust, what have you…
inserting into the protocol code that recirculates someones untouched ADA is just wrong in my book - and if someone wanted to not be bothered with activating an account from their Grandparent or Great Grandparent simply cause they would reserve it for future generations of their loved ones how does that affect anyone else? Lost supply on Cardano will never be a real problem as Cardano is setup as every other respected currency to utilize smaller units to operate on, in the case of Cardano it is Lovelaces, kind of a hard to recognize fail safe yet it is there, and bitcoin has shown the depth of a sat which should give someone a good idea that there is no end to the zero’s you can put on top of any monetary unit.

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Lost gold does not disappear, or get lost forever, gold even lost exists in this plain of existence. Whether you die or lose your keys that does not effect the amount of gold in existence. If the amount of gold disappeared every time the owner died, we wouldn’t be talking about gold, because there would be no gold to talk about. From an economist view, if you had a limited supply of fiat currency, and you burnt it up every time the user died or lost their money without renewing it, you would have no economy. Tell me what’s the point of a currency if it’s untouched for 100, 500 or 1000 years ? Tell me what happens to ownership of gold if the whole family of owners die ? Does it remain outside the circulating supply because it used to have owners ?