A South African engineer could be a Bitcoin millionaire now but he deleted his private key and password and cannot gain access to his stash as we are reading more in our latest bitcoin news today.
Mark Michales, the south African engineer would have had about $940,000 worth of BTC as he mined 20 BTC when he was younger but unfortunately, he lost his key and password for his wallet. Michaels is a 24-year old electronic engineer from Pretoria, South Africa and he was keen on crypto as a kid. More than 10 years ago, when he was in 7th grade, he learned how to mine BTC and he eventually started. He said:
“I believe I used the original Bitcoin wallet software, which required a wallet key and password to access”
Working for a few weeks, he managed to mine 20 BTC and at that time, the dollar value of the main cryptocurrency was set at $0.0008 aside from the fact that the price was not significant, there were also no other crypto platforms that would enable him to sell the assets for money:
“Eventually, I got bored of it, as you couldn’t do much else on your PC while it was busy, and the Bitcoin you mined was practically worthless.”
Keep in mind that he was still young and the coins were worthless so he stored his password and key for the BTC wallet in a text document on his computer desktop. At one point, he accidentally deleted the files while cleaning up the device. However, when the BTC price surged to $1000 a few years later, the engineer made his first real attempt to restore the assets:
“I remember collecting all the hard drives, memory sticks, CDs, and DVDs in the house and carefully going through each of them. This took around a week. I also tried running data recovery software on my main hard drive, but this was not of much use. By then, that drive had been formatted and reused multiple times.”
Michaels’ Bitcoin holdings are now worth $940,000 calculated by the prices today but he said that he made peace with losing access to the assets comparing his case to predicting the winning numbers of a Lotto ticket and then decided not to buy it. Michael’s case is not isolated as the data provider chainalysis reported that about 20% of the existing 18.5 million BTC was lost or in stranded wallets which shows the importance of well storing the private keys.
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