A young South African electronics engineer regretted his decision to delete a text document containing the keys and password of a crypto wallet containing around 20 bitcoins. According to the engineer, the lost coins were mined more than ten years ago using a modified PC that “came with an AMD Phenom X3 processor and 512 MB RAM”.
Low BTC price and lack of exchanges
According to a Mybroadband report, the 24-year-old engineer, whose pseudonym is Mark Michaels, began mining the cryptocurrency “after reading about the technology on the Internet.” The engineer was only in seventh grade at the time.
Although the report cites Michaels, who states that he does not remember how long it took him to mine the BTC, it does point out that Bitcoin’s value is still well below the one-dollar mark at this point ($ 0.08 per BTC) was. This low price, as well as the lack of crypto exchanges to sell the BTC, ultimately resulted in the then youthful Bitcoin miner losing interest. The engineer explained:
At some point I got bored as there wasn’t much else you could do on your PC while it was busy and the bitcoins you mined were practically worthless.
Failed recovery attempts
It would take about seven years after deleting the file for the engineer to attempt to recover the lost bitcoins. By then, the price of the cryptocurrency had risen to $ 1,000. The report quotes the young engineer who recounts his first, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to regain access to the coins. He said:
I remember collecting all of the hard drives, memory sticks, CDs and DVDs in the house and going through them carefully. This took about a week. I also tried running data recovery software on my main hard drive, but it wasn’t of much use. By then, this drive had been formatted and reused several times.
Despite losing the bitcoins – which are currently valued at more than $ 900,000 – and failed attempts to regain them, the engineer said he had calmed down with his hasty decision. He also claims that he never got into cryptocurrency to make money.
According to the Mybroadband report, the young engineer now owns various crypto currencies, but not in large quantities. He is also dismantling ETH, but only when his “current rig is not in use”.
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