I wonder what is the long term consequences for a digital currency with an obfuscated blockchain. Suppose some billionaire buys a huge amount of Monero coins, then dies and nobody can recover his keys. Doesn't this mean those coins are effectively lost for eternity?
It's a different situation than say, somebody that accidentally loses or destroys millions/billions of dollars in fiat cash, since the issuing government can just reprint it. It's also somewhat different than somebody who owns a huge amount of a digital currency like Bitcoin, that has an open ledger. In that case, it's possible that private keys can be lost and the coins become forever unrecoverable, but you would at least know that the lost currency exists and which address it exists in. With Monero, the lost currency would simply be lost for eternity and the amount would be unknowable.
Over thousands of years, wouldn't this eventually start to significantly drain the supply?
I realize that thinking about "thousands of years" is silly - nobody even knows if any particular digital currency will survive in a decade, or if breakthroughs in quantum cryptography will render many digital currencies defective. But I wonder if anyone has thought about the problem with "lost" coins that seem inherent to any obfuscated blockchain. Is there any known solution to this?