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.