Engineer loses access to file containing 20 bitcoins (BTC)

$ 900,000 in bitcoins removed

According to the media Mybroadband, a historical cryptocurrency enthusiast would have deleted a file containing the private keys and the 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 ten years ago, when cryptocurrency was still only worth a few cents.

Passionate about technology from a young age, it was only after reading an article on the Internet that he decided to mine bitcoin.

“I believe I used the first Bitcoin wallet software, which required a wallet key and password to access it,” said Mark Michaels.

The mining experience only lasted a few months, but it was enough to mine around 20 bitcoins. During this year, the value of Bitcoin has also skyrocketed: it went from 0.0008 to 0.08 dollars. This is certainly far from the 48,000 dollars posted this morning by the Queen of cryptocurrencies, but it already showed its ability to explode upwards …

Bitcoins forgotten in a corner

Since the BTC wasn’t worth much yet, the engineer decided to put the sum aside. Selflessly, he deleted the file by cleaning up the computer:

“I got bored of it because you couldn’t do much else on your PC, and the bitcoins you mined were virtually worthless. “

It wasn’t until 7 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 drives, CDs and DVDs in the house and going over them carefully. It took about a week. I also tried using data recovery software on my primary hard drive, but it was not very helpful. By that time, this drive had been formatted and reused several times. “

At the current price, 20 bitcoins are worth nearly $ 900,000. Perhaps to console himself, the person now claims that he has never done this for money but rather for technology …

An increasingly common situation

Obviously, this is not the first person to have lost their private keys. Indeed, other similar examples are regularly published in the press, especially when the amounts are enormous.

“There are several stories similar to mine, which show the potential risks and rewards of adopting new technologies early,” said Mark Michaels.

Stefan Thomas, a developer based in San Francisco, understood this as well. This early-hour bitcoiner has only 2 more tries to access a USB stick containing 7,002 bitcoins (BTC), or $ 315 million at the current price. In case of failure, the key will automatically lock and it will no longer be possible to access the treasure.

We also note that for nearly 3 years, many people have been trying to crack the password of a wallet containing 69,370 bitcoins, or nearly $ 3 billion at the present time. Bitcoin treasure hunts are therefore not about to stop …

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About the Author: Anthony Bassetto

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