I got into cryptocurrency in late 2013. I’d read a few articles on the subject of blockchain technology and Bitcoin (BTC) and found the subject fascinating. In particular, the acknowledged shadowy founder of the technology, “Satoshi Nakamoto“, was found to be not real person but a pseudonym for an individual or group. It was kind of insane that a manufactured digital “asset” could carry so much value existed.
I found out that the tech guy I worked with, Greg, was an early adopter of Bitcoin. He had a few hundred secured by printing the private keys on paper. Having bought in at sub-$100 levels, he was pretty much set. At that time BTC was already extremely volatile, and had bounced between prices from $600 to $1,200 in a span of weeks. After a couple of weeks of talking about it, one day he went on Coinbase, bought $2,000 worth of BTC (it was trading at about $800 at the time, so that was roughly 2.5BTX) and sent it to me. To this day he still hasn’t sent me his bank (fiat) information so I’ve been unable to pay him. So I still owe him $2,000, and will gladly pay interest, whether in crypto or fiat.
The Mt. Gox incident happened in early 2014, tanking the value of BTC into the low hundreds. I changed jobs at the time, and lost touch with Greg, so forgot about the BTC and took my eye off of the cryptocurrency space. While I wish I’d stayed aware of it so maybe I might have noticed the surge before it happened, I’m already fortunate to have had 2.5BTC in my possession by pure luck, so I can’t be overly upset.
Still, it’s pretty dumb of me that I only realized that cryptocurrency had exploded in 2017, in December. Or maybe I was fortunate that I realized it at all. My current job has disconnected me from the technology crowd and space, and I only retain that connection with effort through other channels. So my 2.5 BTC was worth what it cost, or more frequently even less, all the way until the end of 2016. It reentered my consciousness just as the value fell from its ~$20,000 peak in mid-December 2017, because one of my ex-coworkers in the tech space posted about an ICO on Facebook.
So I frantically had to relocate my BTC key information. Over the waning days of 2017 I try to find the information. The paper key is pretty much lost after moving three times across two countries over the last three years. So I struggle to sift through email and chat histories until I find some account information, but no password. So I have to wrack my brain for that.
It still surprises me when I think of it, but I remembered the password to the place that the BTC was stored in based on the “forgot password” prompt of the site. The chances that I’d forget a password (particularly the way I make passwords – they’re all unique and I never reuse) after three years of not using it at all are pretty high. So, again, kind of lucky.
So New Year’s Eve is a couple of days away, and I just regained access to my 2.5BTC that was purchased for $2,000 in October 2013. It’s December 29, 2017, and that’s now worth just under $30,000 for a gain of 1,400%. It’s not life-changing money (and it’s not even money, yet) but it’s a windfall.
(To be continued.)