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The estimate does not take into account assets on crypto wallets with forgotten passwords, so the actual total amount of all funds in lost tokens can be much larger
Coinbase Managing Director Conor Grogan classified thousands of bugs and user errors on the Ethereum blockchain and calculated that 636,000 ETH ($1.15 billion) were permanently lost from those errors.
Grogan noted that the lost coins he accounted for amounted to 0.5% of the total circulating supply of Ethereum (about 120 million ETH).
Approximately half of the lost amount – about 306 thousand ETH ($538 million) – is associated with a 2017 error in the Parity crypto wallet. Closed in 2019, the Quadriga crypto exchange lost 60,000 ETH ($108 million) due to a contract failure, and the Akutars NFT collection lost 11.5 thousand ETH ($20 million) during an unsuccessful token issuance.
In addition, Grogan found that Ethereum users collectively sent 24,000 ETH ($43 million) to a token burn address with no return.
Grogan added that the $1.1 billion valuation is well below the actual amount of Ethereum lost. It covers only those cases when tokens are permanently blocked, but does not take into account those funds that have become impossible to access due to forgotten private keys to crypto wallets.
Not only an error in a smart contract or a forgotten password can lead to the loss of tokens, but also an unsuccessful joke. In the summer of 2022, a large NFT collector with the pseudonym Franklinisbored lost about 100 ETH (about $150 thousand at that time) due to a joke rate on a domain he registered from the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) service.
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