September 30, 2022

Practically a Bitcoin Millionaire But Only if He Knew His Password

3 min read

A South African resident revealed he mined 20 BTC when he was young, implying that now he is nearly a millionaire. Unfortunately for him, he lost his key and password for his Bitcoin wallet.

BTC Password – – as Important as The BTC Itself

Mark Michaels – – a 24-year-old electronic engineer from Pretoria, South Africa – – liked cryptocurrencies as a kid. More than 10 years earlier, when he was in 7th grade, he checked out the Internet in order to learn how to mine Bitcoin, and eventually started.

“I believe I utilized the original Bitcoin wallet software application, which required a wallet secret and password to access,” Michaels stated.

Working continually for a couple of weeks, the engineer handled to mine 20 BTC. At the time, the dollar worth of the primary cryptocurrency stood at hardly $0.0008. Aside from the reality that its rate was irrelevant, there were also no crypto platforms that would enable him to sell the properties for cash:

“Eventually, I got bored of it, as you could not do much else on your PC while it was busy, and the Bitcoin you mined was almost useless.”

Remembering that he was still young and the coins were nearly useless, he carelessly kept his key and password for his Bitcoin wallet in a text file on his computer system desktop. At one point, Michaels accidentally deleted the files while tidying up his device.

< img class="size-full wp-image-94569"src =""alt ="Security_tips" width="1920"height ="1080"srcset =" 1920w, 300w,×576.jpg 1024w,×432.jpg 768w,×864.jpg 1536w,×28.jpg 50w”sizes =” (max-width: 1920px) 100vw, 1920px”/ > Security pointers for your crypto wallets Nevertheless, when BTC’s rate rose to$1,000 a couple of years later on, the South African made his very first real attempt to bring back the lost virtual possessions:

“I keep in mind gathering all the disk drives, memory sticks, CDs, and DVDs in your home and carefully going through each of them. This took around a week. I also tried running information healing software on my primary hard drive, but this was not of much usage. By then, that drive had actually been formatted and reused multiple times.”

Michaels’ Bitcoin holding deserves roughly $940,000, computed by today’s costs. Nevertheless, he stated he made peace with losing access to his properties, comparing his case to anticipating the winning numbers of a Lotto ticket and after that choosing not to purchase it.

The Man Who Lost Access to 7,002 BTC

Mark Michaels’ case is not a separated example. According to the cryptocurrency information provider Chainalysis, about 20% of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin was lost or remains in stranded wallets. This only goes to show the significance of keeping the personal secret.

While the South African engineer can not deal with his 20 BTC, Stefan Thomas – – a German-born developer living in San Francisco – – can not recall his password and therefore lost access to 7,002 bitcoins. Doing the maths means that he would have had around $328 million.

In 2011, Thomas produced an instructional video called “What’s Bitcoin?” for another crypto fan, who sent him 7,002 BTC for his services. The German did not pay much attention, however, as the virtual asset was nearly useless at the time and lost the digital keys to the wallet.

He entirely changed his mindset when BTC’s worth took off in the next years, making several efforts to access the funds. His wallet enables users ten efforts to guess the password. So far, Thomas has used eight of his most typical assumptions however with no success:

“I would just lay in bed and think of it. Then, I would go to the computer with some new technique, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”