Bitcoin has been around for a few years now, enough time for the cryptocurrency to give us a few unforgettable stories. These are indeed shocking, as some of those involved in these events found themselves in a financial roller coaster they never thought they would be in. Here are some of the most amazing bitcoin stories.
1. A 15-year-old invested $1,000 in bitcoin, then sold those coins for $100,000
Erik Finman was introduced to bitcoin in 2012 by his older brother, who sent him 0.2 bitcoins just for him to get a feel of the cryptocurrency. Later on, his grandmother gave him a $1,000 gift for Easter. Then 15-year-old Erik decided to buy bitcoins with the money and, a year and a half later, he sold those bitcoins for $100,000 – an incredible return on investment (ROI). The young entrepreneur decided to use his money to launch Botangle.com, an online tutoring service.
2. The man that threw away 7,500 bitcoins
Back when bitcoins were easier mine, a man named James Howells mined 7,500 bitcoins and then stored them in a hard drive. In 2009, when he mined them, they weren’t worth a lot, so James didn’t use them. A few years later, while cleaning up his desk, he came across the hard drive and, without remembering the bitcoins in them, he threw it away , sending it to a landfill. Later on he attempted to retrieve it, but was unable to.
When thrown out, the bitcoins contained in the hard drive were worth over $600,000. Nowadays, James’ bitcoins would be worth over $18.75 million.
3. Someone accidentally made $1.3 million while buying a house
According to what Bitpay CCO Sonny Singh told Bloomberg Markets, bitcoin’s volatility once helped a man make $1.3 million as he was merely attempting to buy a house. The man was to pay $4 million for the estate and expressed interest in paying with bitcoin. Once the transaction started, one bitcoin was worth $750, but thanks to the cryptocurrency’s volatility, it was worth over $1,000 by the end of the transaction. That essentially meant the buyer got a little gift, simply because he decided to pay with bitcoin.
4. Bitcoin’s biggest heist was of 800,000 bitcoins
Mt. Gox was the world’s largest bitcoin exchange when the biggest bitcoin heist in history took place. Allegedly, a hacker stole roughly 800,000 bitcoins from the exchange, the equivalent of $400,000 at the time, enough to bring the exchange to it’s knees, forcing it to declare bankruptcy. Today, the same 800,000 bitcoins would be worth over $880 million.
Mt. Gox’s CEO, Mark Karpeles, had a reaction to the high-profile heist that seemed, to some, incredibly calm and vague:
We had weaknesses in our system, and our bitcoins vanished. We’ve caused trouble and inconvenience to many people, and I feel deeply sorry for what has happened.
The investigation led by law enforcement panned out due to the lack of evidence, but Mark Karpeles, was charged with embezzlement.
5. A man was robbed at gunpoint for $1,100 bitcoin
A 28-year-old Brooklyn man used Craigslist to sell bitcoins to someone near him. He used the website to avoid the hassles of online bitcoin exchanges but things didn’t go as planned. The stranger he was selling bitcoin to led him to a Honda in which they were supposed to finalize the deal. Inside the car, a man hiding in the backseat pulled a gun on him, and forced the 28-year-old to transfer the bitcoins, at the time worth $1,100, to the robbers. Then, the thieves grabbed the man’s cell phone and fled.