What happens to lost cryptocurrency?
A student has claimed to have found private keys accidentally HODLed starting as early as 2011 which will unlock more than $4 million in Bitcoin.
According to a throwaway account from BitcoinHolderThankU, the Reddit user was able to cash out roughly $4.2 million in Bitcoin (BTC) after finding the lost keys to 127 BTC on Dec. 22, when the price of the crypto asset was in the $23,000s. They later liquidated the coins in the middle of the bull run.
“I spent the next week figuring out how to safely and securely liquidate such a large amount of Bitcoin for the cheapest price possible,” said the Redditor. “I went back and forth between different [over-the-counter principal desks] and ultimately ended up selling all 127 Bitcoins for a price of $33,439.02 per coin minus a 0.15% fee. The net was roughly $4.24 million.”
They claim to have earned Bitcoin in 2011 or 2012 through “surveys, watching videos, and completing random tasks” to ultimately use the coins for purchasing in-game currency for the online game DarkOrbit. The private keys were reportedly never really missing, just forgotten on an older model Dell computer as BitcoinHolderThankU ended up not purchasing the currency.
Unfortunately, if the Redditor’s account is to be believed, they missed out on $1 million in additional profit by not holding for just a few more weeks. Since December, the price of Bitcoin has passed $41,000 to reach new all-time highs. BitcoinHolderThankU admitted they “would not have sold all 127 Bitcoin” if the same situation had played out again.
“To give myself credit, I did HODL for 8-9 years which is more than the vast majority of crypto users,” they said. “I definitely would’ve done things differently if I were given a second chance.”
Despite their sudden fortune, the Redditor says they will avoid “expensive luxuries” and intends to put the bulk of the funds into the S&P 500, adding:
“I don’t want to end up like one of those people who win the lottery and blow it all in a matter of months/years […] I’m going to continue living my life normally as I was on December 21st and every day before that.”
Unfortunately, not all stories involving misplaced or forgotten keys have such a happy ending. There may still be more than $285 million in Bitcoin lost somewhere in a U.K. garbage dump after an IT worker accidentally threw out his personal laptop with his keys in 2013
Former Ripple CTO may have lost much more than $220M in Bitcoin
New York Attorney General Letitia James is advising members of the crypto industry and investors to stay vigilant against participating in or becoming a victim of illegal activities.
According to the New York Attorney General’s office, James issued an alert to crypto investors today warning them to exercise “extreme caution when investing in virtual currencies.” She referred to cryptocurrencies as “high-risk, unstable investments that could result in devastating losses.”
James’ message included a warning to industry players that the AG would come down hard on firms skirting the law. She said that her office had “ended both Bitfinex and Tether’s illegal activities” in New York, a reference to the companies agreeing to pay the state $18.5 million in damages last week. As part of the settlement, the AG’s office will require Bitfinex and Tether to provide extensive reports on its finances and stop serving customers in New York.
“In the case of Tether, the company falsely represented that each of its stablecoins were fully backed, one-to-one, by U.S. dollars in reserve at all times,” said James. “Tether made false statements about the backing of the ‘tether’ stablecoin, and about the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars between the two companies to cover up the truth about massive losses by Bitfinex.”
The attorney general added:
“We will not hesitate to take action against anyone who violates the law. […] We’re sending a clear message to the entire industry that you either play by the rules or we will shut you down.”
Crypto investment platform Coinseed may be the next to face the AG’s regulatory wrath. The office filed a lawsuit against the firm last month for allegedly defrauding investors out of more than $1 million and selling a token that remains unlisted after more than three years. James said she aims to “shut down Coinseed’s fraudulent operation” by seeking restitution for investors, disgorgement with interest, permanent injunctions against the firm and “the full closure of Coinseed’s business operations.”
Under current New York law, all crypto brokers, dealers, salespersons and investment advisors must register with the AG’s Investor Protection Bureau if they are doing business in the state. Those without an exemption who fail to do so will be subject to civil and criminal penalties. click here to get back stolen charge back stolen funds.