5 Years ago, Wired magazine called Bitcoin an abstraction, destroyed their wallet keys and now can't access $120k worth of Bitcoin

in #bitcoin6 years ago

If you follow tech news you definitely know what Wired is so I won't get into that. For a long time, Wired is a great source of info for me, I enjoy reading a lot of their articles and I honestly thought that these people can recognize innovation when they see it. Turns out I was wrong.

In 2013 Wired wrote an article about a Bitcoin miner from Butterfly Labs. They set up a live stream of the mining operation with this "small box that burns less energy than a light bulb" and didn't know what to do with the money they will make. Somehow they came to a conclusion that it is best to destroy the wallet access keys and leave it there because Bitcoin is an abstraction and nothing more.

But in the end, the answer was obvious. The world’s most popular digital currency really is nothing more than an abstraction. So we’re destroying the private key used by our Bitcon wallet. That leaves our growing pile of Bitcoin lucre locked away in a digital vault for all eternity — or at least until someone cracks the SHA-256 encryption that secures it.

Who would have known that this abstraction will one day be worth $120k, in this particular case? Certainly not a tech journalist that can't recognize the potential in new technology.


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Man... I wonder how much crypto is out there truly "lost" forever. Guess there's no way to know really... who knows, maybe they just said they destroyed the keys

The wallet is untouched and I am pretty sure they will keep their word. They did fail to recognize BTC as something that will be big in the future but they are professional journalists. I trust them to keep their word.

We're all thinking it was a stupid move of them, but can we really say that with certainty? Likely none of us were involved in the scene in 2013, most became involved in the last year. Probably everyone reading this post would have thought bitcoin was never going to go anywhere back in 2013, and that amount of bitcoin was only worth a few dollars back then. Not such a crazy idea to destroy it if that's your train of thought.

It's not crazy in 2013 because you have no future perspective. Now that it's valued at 120k, it's easy to recognize their mistake. It was definitely a mistake at the time. The irony of Wired magazine being the company to make this mistake is hilarious.

But even if he thought it was "an abstraction" at the time, why would he destroy the keys instead of saving it on a thumbdrive or something? That just makes no sense.

You can add 28BTC of mine to that $120k for a start....

Every few months or so i become really motivated to turn the house upside down in search of the seed... Every few months im disappointed...

I paid £3 per coin too :(

Well, that's definitely a story to add to the collection. I have a neighbor that is 50+ years old. In 2010 we were talking about BTC at his local caffe and he wanted to know more as well. After explaining it all he gave a friend of mine, who was mining at the time about $20 worth of local currency to sell him 10 BTC.

Needless to say, the keys to that wallet are lost and this guy has no clue where they might be.

I feel like 10% of all crypto will be lost forever because of this.

awwww feel your pain

IIRC approximately 33% is lost.

There are some sources that say 30% or more is lost, like buried treasure, and there are now lots of people trying to figure out how to possibly link early bitcoin blocks with their owners https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/07/07/lost-bitcoin-is-giving-birth-to-an-emerging-crypto-recovery-industry/

In defence of the journalist, many people failed to see a future where Bitcoin would be taken seriously or be worth what it is right now. Even in 2018 people are still calling Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies a "fad" and a "scam". But having said that, when the Internet was new and shiny in the nineties, a Newsweek journalist famously said the Internet would fail in a piece they wrote in 1995.

Great read, I came across this on Reddit. I also gave you a follow because finding decent writers on Steemit is rare.

It's silly what they did, but good for anyone holding BTC, as even more scarcity increases the price. Plus this draws more attention to Bitcoin.

It's almost like they did it on purpose, to see if someone would hack it with a $120 thousand payout. I suppose that would be contributing too much brain power in this case. I would think, though, after several years of Bitcoin being around and starting to pick up in price, that they should have been singing a different tune. I guess they probably are now. I wonder if they will do an update to that article when they decide the price is high enough to make it worth it. :)

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Sorry, I don't like people going under the name Roger Ver.

I found this article on bitcoin.com's facebook page. Crazy story. Thanks for sharing yo

You found it on the Bitcoin facebook page. Bitcoin.com has nothing to do with Bitoin. It is a Bcash website.

Indeed, my bad it was Bitcoin.org's facebook. I know it's Roger verrs and he is the bcash mascot. Still cool when your stuff gets shared elsewhere.. so congratulations yo.

On this subject though hauwei is implementing the Bitcoin wallet on all their new phones in partnership with bitcoin.com, the articles I have read only mention Bitcoin, though since it's in partnership with Bitcoin.com, it almost certainly has to have a bcash wallet as well right?

Found this on Reddit, thanks for sharing. Great article!

haha thats why they need 25 trackers on their website...

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