With the latest surge in bitcoin related media stories and the wildly volatile price fluctuations in bitcoin price. Many are wondering can a bitcoin be lost and if it can is it possible to find lost bitcoins? Absolutely, the first risk is from the wild price swings. If you buy high and sell low, then your bitcoins can definitely become lost bitcoins to you, but they are not lost bitcoins to the system.
First we must understand how bitcoins are generated. There is really only one way bitcoins can be created and that is by mining. Mining is the technical process that helps to secure the system and as a reward the miners’ receive a reward in bitcoins. This creates new bitcoins. I guess they had to just create some in the beginning, but now all bitcoins up to the limit of the system which is around 21 million bit coins.
Okay so how do we know how many bitcoins are in existence at any one time. You can calculate the number in existence of who owns every bitcoin because everyone has a copy of all the transactions ever created in the system and thus know how many coins exist.
Not to get off track, but these individual files with all the transactions is actually a weakness of the bitcoin system and may become somewhat of a technical limiting factor. As more people become involved in the transfer of this digital currency the file size of these flat files could get out of control. It is already hindering adoption of the currency as a lot of really slow cable connections and a lot of rural areas are experiencing initial download times of the files in days. This time will only grow as the system processes more transactions. These files are going to get huge, well beyond the size of current hard drives in personal computers. This really will have to be fixed before we can have long term adoption. Sorry for the diversion, but thought this should be mentioned just for context in learning how to find lost bitcoins.
At the end of the day a bitcoin is just a little piece of code residing on a hard drive. Bitcoins are kept in a file called a wallet. Lot of programs name this file wallet.dat. So if you could find someone else’s wallet file, then you can find some lost bitcoins. Actually that would be stealing, since that would require hacking and would not really be right.
But what about when hard drives crash and bitcoins are lost in that manner, what happens to those bitcoins. These are lost. If you can not recover your wallet file, then the SHA256 hash that encrypts the value of your bitcoins can not be decoded. That bitcoin is gone with no way to recover it.
Wait I thought you where going to tell us how to find lost bitcoins? Bottom line is it would be very difficult to lay claim lost bitcoins for your own. It may be possible to set up a computer with some serious hash solving capability and figure out which ones are missing, then try to crack their hash, but you could probably find more bitcoins using that same equipment as a miner and just mine bitcoins for profit.
Debt issues are surfacing everyday like never before. The situation of the people of this country is worsening as they are unable to find the right ways out of debt. There are various debt relief options that one can use, but it’s important to know about them beforehand. It’s only when you have adequate knowledge that you’ll be able to make the best use of the debt relief programs and payoff debt without the slightest trouble.
If you’ve been thinking of a different way to payoff debt, this is just about the right article for you. You should know that repaying debt with the help of unclaimed money is a great way to become debt free. Since debt has come up as a major problem both at the individual and state levels, it’s important to knock it off as soon as possible. And what better than some extra bucks to put an end to the debt story? Finding unclaimed money is what you need to do to repay your debt.
The US is home to a huge sum of unclaimed money worth a whopping $400 billion. The reason behind this sum is nothing but complete lack of awareness amongst people. They are simply unaware of the money that they are liable to receive. This unclaimed sum is in the form of gift certificates awaiting redemption and checks yet to be cashed. This isn’t all as company refunds and credit balances too constitute a considerable portion of the total unclaimed sum. It’s important that you do everything necessary to have your money back in your hand. The following are steps that you need to follow to have the unclaimed sum without trouble:
It’s to be noted that websites don’t contain all the information on unclaimed money. You can always check the websites of states other than your place of residence. Get in touch with the State Treasury Office for more details if you have to. Wait for their call or get in touch with them after a couple of weeks to do the needful on your claim. It’ll be easier for you to repay debt once you’ve located your unclaimed money as these are very easy to use.
California has a lot of missing money just waiting to be claimed. You may be one of the millions of Californians and money by the state you just have look for it. This missing money in California is a result of lost bank accounts or pensions where the rightful owner as either forgotten about it or they do not realize the money is available. All the rightful owner has to do to came this missing money is to claim it through the California’s unclaimed property website. Currently there is over 1.6 billion in unclaimed property contained in California’s coffers.
This is not money that is due the state. Its just waiting for your to claim your share. Of course you have to actually prove that you are the person who is due the money, but if it is yours to claim then that should not be very difficult as the money has your name on it.
The most common types of Unclaimed Property in California are:
California law forces banks and other financial institutions to report these unclaimed funds on their books and they turn it over to the States unclaimed property office. This is pretty much the same for any state and most work in similar manners. You just need to claim it. To find out if you have unclaimed money, first got to the unclaimed property website for California and start a search. Use search for you name and any close relatives you have. This is a good start and will tell you if you have any unclaimed cash waiting. Its also advisable to just search on your last name or any other sir names of your family. A lot of times this can clue you into unclaimed money which may be a result of unclaimed inheritance or estates where the person did not leave a will. This happens a lot more than you would think and you may be able to find million of dollars owed you with just a few steps. There are billions in missing money in California.
Checking accounts or CDs at banks, or saving and loans can become abandoned if the rightful owner fails to communicate an interest in such over a period of time. Referred to as the dormancy period, the obligation of the account holder of the unclaimed property is to report and remit the unclaimed property begins when there has been no owner-generated activity for a state-defined period of time. This period of inactivity is referred to as a "dormancy period."
The rules governing unclaimed bank accounts vary from state to state. Each state provides some type of unclaimed property service for it’s citizens, so that no single place is responsible to look for forgotten funds. Even if the bank branch moved, failed or was part of a merger and changed names, a lost bank account can be retrieved.The wave of closing and failed banks and saving & loans during the 1980s, resulted in the passing of the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery & Enforcement Act of 1989.
This occurs fairly common due to a period of inactivity, a death of a family member, a name change due to a divorce or marriage. In some cases an individual in switching banks believe they have closed or emptied the account but left a balance in it. But in general, after about two years without any activity (one made no withdraws or deposits or haven’t cashed a check) and after the institution’s efforts to reach you fail, the property will be considered abandoned and will escheat. Escheat is when the property is transferred to a state or government agency, making the state or agency the legal custodian of the funds until the owner or heir comes forth to claim. The property or money was delivered to the government agency because the owner, distributee, devisee, or heir could not be found, or refused to accept the property.
There are databases containing information about the millions of unclaimed bank accounts and other missing assets from every State and those lost bank accounts due to Bank failures that are NOT included in the States’ online databases. The information available run the gamut from forgotten phone and rental deposits to contents of safe deposit boxes, bank accounts and securities. Limited to non-type information can be included about funds owed by federal authorities, because they typically operate their own lost-and-found services.
1. How can I find out if the government has unclaimed money or property that may be mine?
To determine whether any unclaimed funds are being held by the federal government, you must determine the type of benefit or payment that could be involved, the date on which the payment was expected, and how the payment should have been made. Given this information, the agency responsible for certifying any payment due should be able to assist you in determining the current status of any payment involved. The titles and addresses for all federal agencies are available in The United States Government Manual (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/index.html) which is available in most public libraries.
2. I received a letter stating that the Treasury Department may owe me money or may be holding funds (or property) in my name. The letter indicates that I can receive this unclaimed property if I pay a “finders” fee. Can these companies help me?
Several companies, or locator services, engaged in the business of identifying and recovering unclaimed assets for profit, acquire federal check issuance data from various federal government agencies under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The information requested by these companies pertains to specific check symbols, numbers and dollar amounts identified on Treasury check cancellation listings. These listings are not searchable by personal identifiers, such as a person’s name or social security number. Personal identifiers may, however, exist in federal agencies’ check issuance or cancellation records. Using such personal identifiers, if available, these locator services attempt to locate the prospective beneficiaries, or “payees,” for canceled/unpaid government checks and, on their behalf, attempt to collect the payment amounts from the federal agencies that originally certified the payments. It is important to note that these firms are also involved in recovering unclaimed property in the possession of state and local government entities.
3. What happens with federal checks that are returned undeliverable or cannot be paid for one reason or another?
No non-federal agency can issue payments on behalf of federal program agencies until official certification of those payments is received from the agencies. In those cases when undeliverable, unnegotiable and/or otherwise unpaid checks are returned to the Treasury disbursing centers, the checks are merely cancelled and the respective funds return to the agencies that originally certified the payments.
4. How does property get lost in the first place?
Property often gets lost for numerous reasons; change of address, change or jobs, because of illness or upheaval. For instance, my mother got sick. Like many of us, she was urprepared and did not have her accounts and insurance information in order. Her illness as it progressed made it difficult for her to communicate. When she passed the family did not know where to look for information regarding her belongings. Over time some things were found, however a lot may still be missing. Recently I discovered she had opened small bank accounts all over the city. They ended up “dormant”–which generally happens when no business is transacted for three years or more–and getting escheated, or turned over, to the state. Situations like this is not uncommon and is just one of many scenarios on how property gets lost.
5. What is unclaimed property?
Unclaimed property (sometimes referred to as abandoned property) refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one year or a longer period. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), insurance payments or refunds and life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of
deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty
payments, and contents of safe deposit boxes.
6. How do states try to return this money?
The state treasurers and other officials who administer the unclaimed property programs have developed many powerful and effective methods to locate owners including the use of websites, cross-checking public data, staging thousands of awareness events at state fairs and even shopping malls, and developing a national database. The methods work as tens of millions of potential lost owners inquire annually resulting in this vital consumer protection program returning money to people at a rate approaching two billion dollars annually.
7. How do I begin my free search?
Companies are required by law to send funds from lost accounts to the state of the owner’s last known address. That means you could potentially have unclaimed property in every state that you have resided. You might want to begin your search on your states unclaimed property online database, or other Web sites endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). These sites are free.
8. What is an Heir Locator?
Heir Locator or Asset Finder is a paid professional finder, someone who is in the business of trying to find and assist the owners of unclaimed funds. In most States, if you do choose to use a finder, a full disclosure contract must be signed between the finder and the owner and must specify where the money is, what the money represents, the amount of the funds, the finder’s fee (no more than X%, as provided by that State’s statute), and how much the owner receives after the fee. Additionally, the contract must be included with your claim form. In order for a finder to accept a fee, the funds must be in the Division of Unclaimed Funds’ custody for a minimum of twenty-four months. Most States require the paid, professional finders to provide specific information in order for the contract to be valid. Also many States are requiring the Heir Locator to be licensed to do business within their State.