900,000 in bitcoins deleted
According to media outlet Mybroadband, a historical cryptocurrency enthusiast has deleted a file containing the private keys and password of a wallet where 20 bitcoins (BTC) are stored.
This situation was experienced by Mark Michaels, a 24-year-old electronics engineer from Pretoria. He had decided to get into bitcoin mining almost a decade ago, when the cryptocurrency was still worth just a few cents.
A technology enthusiast from a young age, it was only after reading an article on the internet that he decided to mine bitcoin.
“I think I used the first Bitcoin wallet software, which required a wallet key and password to access,” said Mark Michaels.
The mining experiment only lasted a few months, but it was enough to mine about 20 bitcoins. Over the course of this year, the value of Bitcoin has also skyrocketed from $0.0008 to $0.08. That’s still a far cry from the $48,000 posted this morning by the Queen of Cryptocurrencies, but it already showed its ability to explode upwards…
Bitcoins forgotten in a corner
Since BTC wasn’t worth much yet, the engineer decided to put the amount aside. Disinterested, he deleted the file while cleaning the computer:
“I eventually got bored of it, because there wasn’t much else you could do on your PC, and the bitcoins you were mining were virtually worthless.”
It wasn’t until seven years later, when bitcoin hit $1,000, that Michaels tried to recover the lost bitcoins. He explains:
“I remember gathering all the hard drives, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs in the house and carefully going through them. It took about a week. I also tried to use data recovery software on my main hard drive, but it wasn’t very helpful. At that point, that drive had been formatted and reused several times.”
At the current price, 20 bitcoins is nearly $900,000. Perhaps as a consolation, the interested party now claims that he never did it for the money but rather for the technology…
An increasingly common situation
Of course, this is not the first person to have lost his private keys. Indeed, other similar examples are regularly published in the press, especially when the amounts are staggering.
“There are several stories similar to mine, which shows the potential risks and rewards of early adoption of new technologies,” said Mark Michaels.
Stefan Thomas, a developer based in San Francisco, also understands this well. This early Bitcoiner only has to wait for the next few months to get his hands on the technology.e 2 attempts to access a USB key containing 7,002 bitcoins (BTC), or $315 million at the current rate. If unsuccessful, the key will automatically lock and it will no longer be possible to access the treasure.
It is also noted that for nearly 3 years, many people have been trying to crack the password to a wallet containing 69,370 bitcoins, or nearly $3 billion at the current rate. So the Bitcoin treasure hunts are not about to end…
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About the author : Anthony Bassetto