Back in 2013, James Howells from Wales dumped a hard drive from his broken Laptop, while he was cleaning his desk.
It was only a few months later when he remembered that 7,500 Bitcoins were inside the hard drive. He mined them in 2009. At the time, Bitcoin has just touched the mark of $1,000. As a result, the missing coins’ value was more than $7 million.
After realizing that, Mr. Howells felt angry and disappointed. In order to cover his wounds, he can’t stand thinking that its dumped disk would worth over $80 million today, with Bitcoin standing at $10,700.
According to him, he had mined these coins himself, when mining was kind of a strange hobby. One day, James split lemonade to his laptop, almost destroying it. He disassembled it for its parts and finally dumped the hard drive a few years later.
But this isn’t the only story with someone losing a digital fortune.
A man from Australia had almost the same luck. He wants to remain anonymous or under the name of ‘Alex’, due to fear of letting his wife know.
Alex describes how he was mining more than a thousand of Bitcoins for the needs of his novel new idea. Later, when software for mining became too complicated he gave up, stashed his coins on a cheap USB drive and deleted the software. He thought it was a good idea to store his coins offline as a backup.
Finally, when Bitcoin price jumped over the level 0f $1,000 back in 2013, he remembered of his wallet. Unfortunately, the USB was broken due to its bad quality, leaving Alex counting his losses.
Furthermore, back in 2012, a Gizmodo editor dumped a hard drive containing 1,4k Bitcoins. He had bought the coins for $25 (approximately 1,5 cents each).Today their price would be more than $15 million.
These stories motivated a new study, which is estimating that about 4 million Bitcoin have been lost forever. The coins are existing on the Blockchain, but nobody can have access to them.
Using all methods to keep the coins safe
One of the most common advice that Bitcoin newbies often hear is to store their digital funds off exchanges. This way they can secure them from online threats. In contrast, the above stories indicate that there is a risk for offline storing methods as well.