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Stories of Potential Bitcoin Millionaires and Their Losses

Zack has been published on Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, & Yahoo! Sports & received the Yahoo! Hot 500 award several times on Yahoo! Voices.

A physical representation of a bitcoin

A physical representation of a bitcoin

Bitcoin Reached a Record High in January 2021 But Many Now Regret Buying Into Cryptocurrency

In January 2021, bitcoin reached a record all-time high after it peaked over $41,000.00 USD. After this feat, stories of regret and despair are coming out regarding their lost fortunes in bitcoin.

Bitcoin Story #1: Man Loses Digital Wallet Password and his $220 Million USD in Bitcoin

Stefan Thomas, a San Franciscan programmer, lost his bitcoin wallet password, leaving him without access to his 7,002 bitcoins, valued at roughly $220 Million USD.

His secured Iron Key hard drive would allow 10 chances to guess the password before fully encrypting the data. According to the story, Thomas guessed incorrectly 8 times, before giving up. He said that a situation like this "makes you sort of question your own self-worth."

Ultimately, Thomas has accepted that he will never recover the password or be able to retrieve his bitcoin wealth. Thomas' story was covered by The New York Times originally, quoting him as saying: "I would just lay in bed and think about it: Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn't work, and I would be desperate again."

Please Remember your Cryptocurrency Password

For those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency, they are typically stored in a digital wallet that is encrypted to a specific hard drive, and the password to this digital wallet is very important to maintain access to your cryptocurrency. Some more well known digital wallets, such as Blockchain, also have a companion smartphone app that allow you to maintain access to your digital wallet.

Bitcoin Story #2: Welsh Man Accidentally Throws Away his Hard Drive with his Digital Wallet Containing 7,500 Bitcoins

James Howells from Newport, Wales is upset with himself, and rightfully so after throwing away his computer hard drive tied to his digital cryptocurrency wallet containing 7,500 bitcoin. The value of his bitcoin is estimated at $275 million (if bitcoin is trading at $37,000). The Newport City Council told him that they would cause environmental damage or impact to the area if they were to try and dig it up. James Howells believes he knows what area the hard drive is located in, and is even willing to give the city council 25% (or $71.7 Million) of the recovered bitcoins. Unfortunately for James, the case is closed, and the Newport City Council is not willing to reconsider the offer.

Welsh Man Loses his Laptop with his Bitcoins

Bitcoin's Surge Has Left Many People with Regrets

Editor's note: I was in an airport in January 2021 and talking to a fellow traveler that currently works in the financial industry who now deeply regrets not investing his money into bitcoin. He told me that at one time (he estimates around 2012), he could have, and should have invested $10,000.00 USD of his money into bitcoin. However, a good friend at the time advised him not to do it, because of the many unknowns in federal regulation and potential losses. He is now kicking himself because he would have had hundreds of millions of dollars today. I did some calculations, and if he had invested 10,000.00 USD into bitcoin in late 2015, his investment would have grown 15,391% and he would now have over $1,500,000.00 USD today. Despite this, I am not advising anyone to take their hard-earned money and invest in something as volatile as bitcoin. Talking to this man in the financial sector, and hearing this is not atypical of others in similar situations. However, there are some people that have already have bitcoin in their digital wallet but have made costly mistakes that keep them from accessing their millions in bitcoin.


The following articles were used in researching this article:

Business Insider. "A man who says he threw away a hard drive loaded with 7,500 bitcoin in 2013 is offering his council $70 million to dig it up from the city dump" Article URL:

Business Insider. "Bitcoin owner whose story went viral after he lost his wallet password says he has 'made peace' with potential $220 million loss" Article URL:

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2021 Zack Love