A 24-year-old man from Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, could be enjoying nearly $1 million in bitcoins if he hadn’t lost the keys to his wallet containing approximately 20 BTCs mined about 10 years ago. As reported by the local website Mybroadband, the file with the codes was accidentally deleted during a cleanup of your computer’s desktop.
“There are a lot of stories similar to mine, which show the risk and possible reward of being an early adopter of new technologies,” said the man, whose real name was not revealed by the report, who nicknamed him Michaels. Today he has a degree in engineering and remains involved with cryptocurrencies, especially with ethereum.
started early in mining
Michaels said he had access to a computer connected to the internet early on, at age 6, and used it specifically to play drawing in Paint, Microsoft’s software. Later, as a teenager, he built his own machine with enough power to mine his first bitcoins, after reading about the technology on the Internet. At the time, 1 BTC was still worth a few cents on the dollar.
“I believe I used the original Bitcoin wallet software, which required a key and password to access,” he told the Mybroadband report, noting that he doesn’t remember how long he used the mining software, but that it must have lasted a few months .
With the derisory value of the BTC at the time and having no way to trade it due to his age, Michaels said he was bored, as the computer was occupied with something “virtually useless”. Because of this, the young man did not bother to protect his funds and the text file with the keys to the wallet that was on his PC desktop ended up being deleted in a routine cleaning.
Wallet with ‘lost’ bitcoins
As he reported to the site, Michaels said that about 7 years later, when bitcoin hit $1,000, he made his first attempt to recover the funds. He then gathered all the hard drives he owned and media devices in order to try to locate the text file, but with no success.
On the website, Michaels compared his case to that of the lottery player who fills out the ticket, does not register it in a lottery, and later his numbers are drawn.
Still familiar with cryptocurrencies, the young man said that he doesn’t invest a lot of money in the market and that he just likes to keep up with their changes. She now bets on ethereum mining and has exchanged these funds for other altcoins.