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South Africa loses $900,000 in Bitcoin after accidentally deleting keys

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Bitcoin is only good as long the holder doesn’t lose their keys. It is essential that keys are kept safe when holding bitcoin. It is true that once keys are lost, there is no way for coins to be recovered. This is how Bitcoin network security is achieved. This is the story of a South African citizen who accidentally deleted 20 BTC from his wallet keys.

A ReportMyBroadband is following the story Mark Michaels (name change), a 24-year-old South African electronics engineer who lost the key for his wallet, which contained 20 bitcoins. Michaels mined BTC ten years ago while he was still an active miner. At that time, BTC was not much.

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It was still possible to mine coins, and Michaels had mined his stash using a personal computer with an Nvidia GeForce GTS250 graphics card. It was not as easy to trade bitcoins at that time. Michaels said that they were not worth much and that he had lost his interest in them because the computer couldn’t be used for anything else while he was mining bitcoins.

How he lost the keys

Michaels had checked his bitcoins seven-years after first mining them. He realized his mistake when BTC reached $ 1,000 per coin. Michaels claims that he had kept his mined BTC on the original software for bitcoin wallets. “I believe I used the original Bitcoin wallet software,” Michaels said. “Which required both a wallet key, and a password to access it.”

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Although the 24-year-old cannot remember how long he has been mining the coins for, he believes he mined for between a few weeks and a few months. At this point, he had mined up to 20 Bitcoins. Michaels had mined the entire amount of the coins for 58 South African Cents. It wasn’t much.

Michaels confessed that he had made a mistake seven years later when he returned to collect the parts. The file containing the parts had been deleted from the hard drive. The drive had been formatted several times and attempts to retrieve the original files were unsuccessful.

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“I remember collecting all the hard drives, USB drives, CDs and DVDs in the house and going through them carefully. It took approximately a week. I tried also to run data recovery software on the primary hard drive, but it did not help much. This drive had already been formatted and re-used several times by that point.

Don’t quit Bitcoin

Michaels has made peace with his loss. He never got into cryptocurrency so it was more about being cool with technology. Michaels still owns cryptocurrencies. The electronics engineer is not an active investor in crypto. It’s more a matter of “playing in markets and watching how things change.”

Michaels claims that he still uses cryptocurrency, but not Bitcoin. Its current mining activities focus on Ethereum. It is only when the platform isn’t in use that he mines crypto. Michaels’ BTC would cost around $900,000 at the current $ 47,000 per BTC price.

Michaels' BTC would have a value of $900,000. Source:| Source: TradingView.com - BTCUSD

Current estimates put the amount of BTC that has been lost at 20% of total circulating supply of 18.5million BTC. This information is mainly from early adopters, who mostly forgot about cryptocurrency after acquiring it due the high value of the coins at that time. When they returned, they found that they had lost their keys to their wallet. This is a common example. James HowellsA man had given in a hard drive with 7,500 bitcoins.

Chart from TradingView.com

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