Crypto user recovers long-lost missing private keys to access $4M

12 Jan 2020

Indeed, even with their freshly discovered fortune, the lucky student said they will avoid “expensive luxuries” like a new car or house.

A student has claimed to have discovered 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 had the option 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 sold the coins in the bull run.

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“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 "studies, watching recordings, and finishing irregular errands" to eventually utilize the coins for buying in-game money for the web based game DarkOrbit. The private keys were apparently never truly missing, just failed to remember on a more established model Dell PC as BitcoinHolderThankU wound up not buying the money.

Unfortunately, if the Redditor’s account is to be believed, they passed up $1 million in extra benefit by not holding for only a couple more weeks. Since December, the cost of Bitcoin has passed $41,000 to arrive at new record-breaking 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 unexpected 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.