Russian, young South African engineer, deletes computer file with keys up to 20 BTC

A young South African electronics engineer has regretted his decision to delete a text document containing the keys and password to his crypto wallet, where about 20 bitcoins are stored. According to the engineer, the lost coins were made more than a decade ago “using a personal computer that could have AMD’s Phenom X3 processor and 512MB of RAM.”

Low BTC price and no exchanges
According to the Mybroadband report, the 24-year-old engineer, whose nickname is Mark Michaels, started issuing cryptocurrencies “after reading technology online.” At the time, the engineer was only in seventh grade.

The report notes that the cost of bitcoin was still well below the one-dollar mark at the time ($0.08 per BTC), although it cited quotes that Michaels did not remember how long it took to acquire BTC. This low price, as well as the lack of crypto exchanges to sell BTC, ultimately caused the then-bitcoin miner to lose interest. Engineer explained:

I ended up bored because you couldn’t do anything else on your computer while you were busy, and the bitcoin you were mining cost almost nothing.

Failed Rescue Attempts
Nearly seven years after deleting the file, the engineer will try to recover lost bitcoins. By then, the price of the cryptocurrency had risen to $ 1,000. The report offers an excerpt mentioning a young engineer’s first but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to access the coins. Said::

I remember putting together all the hard drives, memory cards, CDs and DVDs in the house, and scrutinising each one decidedly. This lasted about a week. I also tried running data recovery software on my main hard drive, but this didn’t work out much. By then this drive had been formatted and reused several times.

Despite the loss of bitcoins, which are now worth more than $ 900,000, and failed attempts to get them back, the engineer has since said he was resigned to his hasty decision. It also claims

Join the Discussion

  • BrokerEUR/USD
    LCG 0.3pips (variable) margin: 3.33%
  • Back to top