How I Lost Millions: Stories of Former Bitcoin Owners

How I Lost Millions: Stories of Former Bitcoin Owners

“The worst mistake in my life. Never back up to a cheap Chinese drive or USB. ”

Bitcoin has made many people millionaires. The lucky coin owners who mined or bought them for a pittance a few years ago keep a close eye on the course – and add zeros to their state.

But there are those who, for one reason or another, have lost their possible wealth. And their stories are no less surprising, although tragic.

“It is a bad idea”

In the summer of 2013, a resident of Wales named James Howells cleaned up the desktop and threw away the hard drive from a broken Dell laptop. Unfortunately, a few months later he realized that on the same disk were stored 7,500 bitcoins, which he had mined back in 2009. By that time, one BTC cost about $ 1,000, so the cleaning cost him almost $ 7.5 million.

Howells’ feelings can only be imagined – shock, rage, disappointment. Over the next years, he almost came to terms with the loss, until the Bitcoin exchange rate began to grow rapidly. So the old wounds made themselves felt: they would, because today this hard drive could cost $ 80 million.

Howells says that when he was mining, Bitcoin was more like a toy for techies. So no one thought to backup wallets.

According to the man, he stopped mining coins when his girlfriend complained about the noise from the laptop and the heat coming from him. So when next year he spilled lemonade on the apparatus, he decided to take it apart. Moreover, he kept that hard drive for several years before deciding to throw it away.

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“Have you ever felt like throwing something in a bin and thinking,“ This is a bad idea. ” So, I had it, ”says Howells.

Back in 2013, he said:

“I am in a situation where I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Why am I not running to a landfill with a shovel? I think I just put up with the fact that I lost it. ”

One can only imagine how miserable Howells feels today.

“Don’t tell my wife”

Howells was not the only one to suffer the pain of such financial losses. The Australian, who wished to remain anonymous because of fear of his wife’s anger, also spoke of thousands of bitcoins missing.

In 2009, Alex, let’s call him that, got “thousands” of bitcoins, being carried away by a new idea. Then, when the mining program became too large and cumbersome, he gave up, deleted it and hid his BTC on cheap USB.

“I thought this: they [bitcoins] are offline, not on my PC. So if something happens to the computer – for example, it explodes or is hacked – I will have a backup copy. ”

Around the end of 2013, when the price of bitcoin almost reached $ 1000, he suddenly remembered his wallet:

“I plugged in the USB to access the files, but the flash drive is dead. It was one of those cheap Chinese. The worst mistake in my life. Never back up to a cheap Chinese drive or USB. ”

So, Alex, like Howells, lost his millions.

“Lost forever”

Finally, here is another story about lost bitcoins. In 2012, Gizmodo editor threw out a hard drive with 1,400 bitcoins. He paid only $ 25 for the coins: about $ 0.015 each. Now they would cost almost $ 15 million.


These and other cases inspired analysts for a new study, which showed that about 4 million bitcoins were lost forever. But these estimates are very rough, since no one can say in what condition is 1 million BTC owned by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nevertheless, a useful conclusion can be drawn from these stories: digital assets are very easy to lose, even if they are not stored on the Internet.

So if you have bitcoins (or other cryptocurrencies), it’s time to make sure that they are safe. To do this, you need a Bitcoin wallet. It allows you to make transactions, that is, buy and sell cryptocurrency. But the main task of a bitcoin wallet is to store the secret key that is needed to access the bitcoin address and, accordingly, your funds. We already talked about what bitcoin wallets are and what they are.

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