Cryptocurrencies are a wonderful technology that has real potential to change the world. The developers that are working to create them are true visionaries and pioneers. Money and profitability aside, these technologies have the potential to improve every facet of life as we know it.
However, with that being said, it’s undeniable, that for the broader public – for the regular, everyday normal average Joes – the word cryptocurrency, first and foremost, associates with money, and their potential to turn you into a crypto millionaire.
This is fully understandable. After all, everyone remembers 2017, the year when Bitcoin reached $20,000 and shocked the whole world. That year, there’s probably very few people who haven’t kicked themselves out of regret that they weren’t one of the lucky few that had enough know-how, – or even the luck of being at the right place at the right time – to be there when Bitcoin was starting out.
It’s because of this that it’s really understandable when people are devastated when they lose their cryptocurrency. We can all only imagine how heart-wrenching it feels when one loses the hard-earned cryptocurrency that they’ve been saving for a better future, or out of their vision for the technology and their belief of where it’ll go in the future.
There are dozens of stories where people have lost their crypto, whether that be due to cashing out at the wrong time, having their account suspended on an exchange, or maybe losing their keys to their wallet. These stories involve some very interesting cases, like when people go to a hypnotist in an attempt to dig up their forgotten wallet keys from their consciousness. These people, in case successful, would then pay the hypnotist a percentage from the recovered bitcoins.
However, not all people manage to recover their crypto, and some of the stories end tragically, with a lot of frustration and regret. Let’s go over some of the most fascinating stories where people lost their crypto in an obscure and interesting fashion.
Clifton Collins is a 49-year-old Irish drug dealer who not too long ago made news after having lost millions of dollar’s worth of Bitcoin.
Collins had written keys to his wallet on a sheet of paper which he had hidden in his fishing rod case back in 2017. Collins was, later that year, arrested for cannabis offenses, and was sent to jail for five years. After he was taken away, his landlord went ahead and cleared the house of Collins’ possessions, fishing equipment included.
The wallet currently contains over 6000 bitcoins, which, at when Bitcoin was worth the most, would’ve cost just below $120,000,000.
Collins’ equipment was sent to a landfill, which routinely sends the waste to China and Germany for incineration, meaning that the paper with the keys is long gone.
James Howells is an IT worker from Newport who claims to have lost over 7,500 Bitcoins after accidentally throwing away his hard drive that contained them.
According to Howells, he had amassed the Bitcoins by mining them on his computer way back in 2009. In round 2013, he dismantled his laptop and sold it for parts on eBay, but kept the hard drive for in case Bitcoin’s price went up–Spoiler alert – it did!
Howells kept the hard drive and went on with his life, but in 2013, he accidentally threw it away while cleaning his home, and it was sent to a landfill.
Howells has since then wanted to take action towards the recovery of the hard drive, but he’s not given the permission by the city’s government. According to them, over four year’s worth of garbage has amassed since then time, which would amount to around 350,000 tons, and digging up would require some serious effort, which would result in a very high possibility of negative environmental consequences, considering the amount of gas and toxic waste that would resurface in case of an attempt.
However, this did not stop thousands of people and even companies to request searching warrants to find the lost hard drive. According to experts from Bitcoin Profit, a crypto trading robot. If the hard drive is ever found, it could potentially affect the market. But it’s very unlikely to be uncovered.
Besides, the efforts would be largely futile, as with so much garbage already being added, and 50,000 more tons being added every year, even if the hard drive was recovered, it would’ve most certainly suffered irreparable damage.
The city has received numerous other requests of the same nature with the goal of recovering lost Bitcoins, but it has denied all of them wit the same reason. It’s simply against the law due to environmental reasons, and no amount of Bitcoins would change that.
Howells himself is surprisingly calm and peaceful with the situation. In his own words, he’s “Pretty Zen” about it.
This one takes the cake for holding the biggest amount of Bitcoins that were lost. QuadrigaCX exchange is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Canada. Its owner, Gerald Cotten, has passed away on December 9, 2018, due to Crohn’s disease while being in India.
Cotten has had a digital wallet where around 145 million GBP’s worth of Cryptocurrency was stored, which, after his passing-away, is inaccessible, as he was the only one who had the password.
According to a statement issued by QuadrigaCX on their blog, due to this circumstance, they’ll be unable to pay around $41 million GBP’s worth of cryptocurrency to their customers. This has caused massive outrage, to the point where some people are refusing to believe it, and are labeling this as a conspiracy. Some people went as far as asking for proof of Cotten’s death in the form of the death certificate or obituary.
Jennifer Robertson, Cotton’s wife, stated that she doesn’t know the password or the recovery key, and was unable to procure them after long and diligent searches.
The crypto was allegedly stored in a way that it’s not connected to the internet or any digital network, but rather stored in a cold-wallet form. Ironically, the security of cold wallets turned out to be their demise in the end.
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