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.