I found two headlines that are probably unrelated but go together perfectly. One is about a reality TV show about people that lost private keys and crypto. The other headline is about a guy that threw away a hard drive containing about a quarter of a million dollars of BTC on it.
This would probably be something I'd tune in for. I also think this is something that happens to all of us sooner or later. Maybe some people more than others. If you've never lost crypto by your own stupid mistakes, consider yourself lucky.
I've lost corrupted backups, hard drives, usb drives, paper wallets. The good news is, sometimes they suddenly show up and become serious windfalls if the price sky rockets. It's the ultimate HODL. It really stings though when you just can't recover! I think I've had three instances by my own stupidity since 2013 where wallets couldn't be recovered. Probably one of the worst feelings in the world when the reality of loss sets in. Hard not to obsess about losing money too.
My biggest loss was a few hundred dollars on a corrupted wallet.dat file. I still get nauseous thinking about it. Now I keep triple backups of almost everything. I tend to learn things the hard way and losing a few hundred dollars is a great way to learn about crypto opsec the hard way! You do learn fast at that point though 🤣
I'm pretty sure these articles are unrelated but tell me this wouldn't be the perfect addition to that reality TV show. This guy is having the dig sponsored by a Hedge Fund who will finance the dig for a percentage of the findings if they find the hard drive.
This would probably add some serious comedy to the TV show. Think about digging up old trash that has been fermenting since 2013. Seriously, a lot has probably already decomposed and broke down, but I'm sure they're going to be digging up some REALLY nasty stuff. I know you'd have to pay me an awful lot to sift through fermented garbage for days on end! I hope they offer profit sharing for all involved! People will go to some serious lengths to recover $381M too. I can't blame the guy, I sure as hell wouldn't give up. Where there's a will, there's a way I guess!
I also can't help but wonder how long a hard drive could last under those conditions. We're talking about a hard drive that has been buried in a dump for around 8 years now. Hard drives are a little more resilient than we give them credit for, but they are seriously sensitive pieces of equipment. If it was wrapped in anti-static bag, that might help. I couldn't imagine how much it was bumped around as it made it's way from the garbage can to the city dump. The guy is an IT professional so chances are it could have just been sitting there in a pile of hard drives. I've actually got a corner of my attic that's filled with old computer parts since around 1997. I guess this is just another reason not to throw out tech! For me, it's all about privacy. I never trade in phones, and keep all old tech. Data recovery is pretty easy if you take the time to learn, a little to easy for my liking when you start to worry about someone recovering old wallet files. Better to just hang on to that stuff.
During the UniSwap airdrop I scoured some old computers looking for old Ethereum wallets. No luck though. That would have been a nice five figure wind fall! The only drive that was most likely to have an ETH wallet was really trashed. I thought about taking it to a recovery team, but I wasn't positive it was a qualifying wallet. I've pretty much had the same ETH wallet since the start. I do remember losing one though that only had a few bucks on it when ETH first came out. That would have been on that fragged hard drive.
Have you ever lost crypto? How did it happen? What did you do to make sure it never happened again? Any security tips for the rest of us?
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