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Friday, December 9, 2022

Half a Billion in Bitcoin, Lost in the Dump | The New Yorker

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James Howells could have been rich by now if the flash drive containing the private key to his Bitcoin stash wasn’t accidentally thrown away. Howells is a system engineer who has known Bitcoin right from the beginning. In fact, he has earned his Bitcoins by lending his computer’s processing capacity to assist the Bitcoin system in having a solid database of network transactions in exchange for a portion of the currency. He had exclusive access to his bitcoin stockpile thanks to an encryption key, a distinctive chain of sixty-four digits and characters. When Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed, the hard drive was already nowhere to be found. Desperate to find it, Howells dived as many dumpsters as he could. Unluckily, he wasn’t able to find it, losing him around half a billion Bitcoin.

Source: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/12/13/half-a-billion-in-bitcoin-lost-in-the-dump

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