Man forgets about $27 Bitcoin investment made four years ago, now worth $1M

By on October 29, 2013, 4:00 PM
investment, bitcoin, bitcoins, virtual currency, digital currency

Four years ago, Christopher Koch was working on a thesis paper about encryption. His research led him to the budding digital currency known as Bitcoin and on a whim, purchased 5,000 Bitcoins for just $27. He quickly forgot all about his investment until widespread news reports jogged his memory this past April.

There was just one problem - Koch had forgotten the password to his Bitcoin wallet. Fortunately, he was able to remember it after some trial and error and when he logged in, he quickly realized the initial $27 investment was now worth $866,000. Based on today’s exchange rate, his nest egg would be worth more than a million dollars. Not bad for a one-off random investment!

Bitcoins can be purchased from a Bitcoin “exchange” although that process can be a bit tricky due to money laundering regulations. Alternately, users can generate their own Bitcoins using computer hardware to “mine” them. The latter alternative is extremely time consuming and hardware intensive and is deemed by some to no longer be a profitable endeavor.

He has since cashed out 1,000 Bitcoins and used that money to purchase a nice apartment in a wealthy area of Norway, his home country. No word yet on what he plans to do with the rest of the loot nor do we know if he will keep them in Bitcoins or cash them out for local currency.




User Comments: 21

Got something to say? Post a comment
ikesmasher said:

I first read about bitcoins when worth only a little more than that.

Sadly at the time I was what, 12? 13? and had no money and no way of persuading my paranoid parents that it was indeed legitimate. Nor did I really know if they were gonna skyrocket that much.

Seeing things like this makes alot of us want to kick ourselves, I think :P

3 people like this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

Nice return but terrible use of the funds. Given the high risk of Bitcoins and the long-term viability of $1,000,000 in a "wealthy" community, he would have been better served by rolling his Bitcoin position into some other asset(s) and going for a more economical abode. Never bank a lifestyle on a single random investment.

3 people like this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Every time I climb up on my soapbox in the town square, and preach my sermon about, "currency isn't real", and as for the national debt I ask, "how is it possible to owe yourself money that doesn't exist yet", they all wander away.

I'm starting to picture myself as the old man in this story. "The townsfolk went insane when they drank from the contaminated well. The old man in the cabin outside of town, got his water from the creek, and so he wasn't affected.

Soon he found that no longer would anyone give him the time of day, and so he became isolated and very lonely.

Them one day, he could abide being his only companion no more, went into town, and drank from the well.

The townsfolk rejoiced, because the old man was now same like the rest of them........Yeah, Bitcoin.

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

I remember the day when I used to sell bitcoins at 3~5$ then it started to jump oh man its 200$ now :/

RzmmDX said:

Meanwhile, EVE Online currency and WoW Gold continues to fall in relation to real currency.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Every time I climb up on my soapbox in the town square, and preach my sermon about, "currency isn't real", and as for the national debt I ask, "how is it possible to owe yourself money that doesn't exist yet", they all wander away.

I'm starting to picture myself as the old man in this story. "The townsfolk went insane when they drank from the contaminated well. The old man in the cabin outside of town, got his water from the creek, and so he wasn't affected.

Soon he found that no longer would anyone give him the time of day, and so he became isolated and very lonely.

Them one day, he could abide being his only companion no more, went into town, and drank from the well.

The townsfolk rejoiced, because the old man was now same like the rest of them........Yeah, Bitcoin.

I assume you're familiar with the allegory of the cave. If not, check it out. )

MilwaukeeMike said:

Meanwhile, EVE Online currency and WoW Gold continues to fall in relation to real currency.

That's because gaming currency can be created in the game. Bitcoins can't be created, there will never be more than around 21 million if I remember right. That means they will go up and up over time to the point where you have to use fractions of one to buy anything. It's deflation, which is a really scary thing when it happens to a real currency.

Jim$ter said:

I remember when they were a few bucks too. I wish I would of bought some but there was no easy way back then and it was pretty confusing.

2 people like this | Guest said:

How is it a terrible use of funds? He only paid $27 not $10,000. I think he got a pretty good return for that $27.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

and it was pretty confusing.
At least there are a few that can think of the confusion as past tense

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I assume you're familiar with the allegory of the cave. If not, check it out. )
Is that when Luke Skywalker goes into the cave and battles himself?

davislane1 davislane1 said:

How is it a terrible use of funds? He only paid $27 not $10,000. I think he got a pretty good return for that $27.

If you would go back and re-read my post, I was criticizing how he's chosen to spend the capital gain, not his decision to purchase $27 worth of Bitcoins in the past. Using funds from a lucky investment in a high-risk asset to pay for a significant lifestyle upgrade -- which is what the article conveys -- is an exceedingly poor and short-sighted use of the money because 1) the cost of the lifestyle upgrade is persistent and 2) the remaining gains are both one-time and at risk. Ergo, buying an apartment in a wealthy part of town was a terrible use of funds.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

Hahahaha so what is bitcoin :|

yes I have been living in a cave

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Buying an apartment is typically a good investment.

Anyway, good for him. I didn't take bitcoins seriously, always thinking it was better to spend my CPU time on folding or some other thing which might help make the world better. I'm kind of regretting it.

Polaco Polaco said:

Oh God!

I can't stop thinking how would be my life if I had invested in some bitcoins at that time.

( the max amount of Bitcoins to be created will be 21 millon )

spencer spencer said:

I assume you're familiar with the allegory of the cave. If not, check it out. )
Is that when Luke Skywalker goes into the cave and battles himself?
You really should look up the allegory of the cave. I hope you'll read it, it was written by plato and may put things in a better perspective for you; although I doubt it.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Is that when Luke Skywalker goes into the cave and battles himself?

lol, no, but good guess. It's very similar to the story you wrote out about the old man and the well. But if you want to make that point without telling the story, you could say it's like the allegory of the cave. The cave story has a different ending though.

Melvina Roselyn Melvina Roselyn said:

I Agree. He would have been better off if he had bought a few homes for that amount and put them up for rent. With the extra income he could have used it for some other venture or saved it up. He could still sell the homes for a lot more if he had to and he would end up winning.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I Agree. He would have been better off if he had bought a few homes for that amount and put them up for rent.
I'd love to go vulture hunting one day (lawfully permitted of course) and reduce the population to those who don't think that way.

Guest said:

I also remember Bitcoins when they first came out. I thought this idea would just fizzle away-it sounded too weird to actually work. I used to invest in stocks and thought what would I have to lose if I spent $100 on bitcoins. I wish I could've seen into the future, would've been $5 million richer.

bob333 bob333 said:

What the F was I doing in 2009.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.