The time a guy threw away a hard drive with $6 million in bitcoins

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So… what happens? Do they expire? Can they be re-mined? If nobody ever uses them, ever again, do they gain tree-falling-in-the-woods status?

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No expiration, no remining, they are just lost from the circulation. Like a gold bar lost in sea.

…poor guy…


It seems like the sort of person who has 7,500 Bitcoins is also the sort of person who physically destroys a hard drive when disposing of it.


And I felt bad loosing a few btc from an early visit to the faucet and then throwing out the failed laptop. This was a few years before the big run up when a btc was less than a US$ and only discussed by dorks.

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I don’t own BitCoins because the price is too volatile, but if I did I can’t imagine I wouldn’t have multiple wallets of different mediums. Wallets are simply keys – you can print them out, or do anything with them. I’d say have one wallet in the cloud, one on a USB stick you keep in your home, and one engraved on the inside of a ring. Or just keep your wallet in your brain.


If how much money you or others have seems “exquisite, painful, life-changing” - maybe it works more as a mathematical drug to make you irrationally feel a certain way.

Now, if you folks would excuse me, I am off to forage for those magical seashells which grant me psychic powers over others,

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This would not have happened without the time the guy failed to backup his drive. I have a BTC wallet on my laptop, and one in the cloud with Coinbase. My laptop is regular backed up in a couple of different ways.

Well the good news is: that $6 million figure was based on 2013’s price of 1BTC=$1000.

At today’s prices, he’s only down $1.360 million.

And at this rate he’ll be even in a 5-10 years.


They probably weren’t worth that much at the time he threw it out.

I was posting this while you edited your original post, glad to see you got it figured out.

Bitcoin’s harsh built-in Income Inequality can only increase. Wonder if it is on purpose.

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Wow, I have never actually waxed philosophical on BTC, first they were free like seashells and thus not worth the effort to mine or collect. The concept was cool but too nerdy to ever catch on; c’mon, it was a concept from Cryptonomicon. Then someone in finance heard it was able to be traded and verifiably unique and now we use it as just another bet in the detached from reality Wall Street casino.

Which gave it the viability of exchange to/from other currencies, which made it actually useful.

Even Wall Street can be good for something, occasionally.

Quite the opposite, IMO. The ultimate strength of decentralized currencies is to replace centralized ones, which never happens when even the new kids with disruptive tech think the old system is more valuable. It’s like inventing the internet and turning back into television.

And it double so cannot happen if the new is incompatible with the old and therefore virtually nobody uses it. You can make a better mousetrap but that’ll be useless if there are no mice for it.

We’re saddled with centralized, state-backed fiat currencies for the time being. They are at this moment The Thing as a medium of exchange. So a compatibility of an alternative system is here a Major Plus, the very difference between a toy and something useful.

A currency is only as useful as the things you can buy for it. This set is limited by how many merchants actually accept that currency. Exchange rate against legacy currencies increases this number significantly.


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