A BITCOIN enthusiast who took his own life left behind crypto worth £245,000 on his old laptop – but the family can’t access it, his brother has claimed.
The brother posted on the /r/bitcoin subreddit to ask if it was “morally wrong” to try and get access to the laptop which could hold more than 10 Bitcoins.The brother of a man who took his own life asked if it was ‘morally wrong’ to recover his Bitcoins[/caption]
The Sun Online has been looking at some cautionary tales from the world of crypto – and one such story was told by this Redditor.
He said his brother took his own life around seven years ago, leaving behind his old laptop.
“He was very much into crypto and I can imagine he probably has upwards of 5-10+ bitcoins on there,” the user, /u/InternationalDeer9, said.
The poster, understood to be based in the UK, asked: “Do you think it’s morally wrong if I try to get access to his laptop?
“I believe his laptop is encrypted with Truecrypt (whole drive), would there some way for me to get access if I wanted to?”
The Redditor said it had been a “rough” seven years since his brother died in his early 20s, but he has now decided to try and finally recover the valuable cryptocurrency.
“With Bitcoin’s price increase, it could now be a life changing amount of money for my family, not just a few extra thousand. I just don’t know if it’s possible and how to go about it,” he said.
And his brother might have left behind a string of clues for his family.
“He left 3 pieces of paper, which had a long string of characters,” the man said.
“But he purposely tore all 3 of the papers a little (I think maybe 3-4 characters missing).
“I don’t know what they could be, but I guess it was his way of leaving a clue and saying ‘if you can figure it out, good luck’ type thing.”The Sun Online has been looking at some cautionary tales from the world of crypto[/caption]
But fellow Reddit users warned that access to the Bitcoin would prove difficult without a password.
One warned: “His password will be somewhere on the laptop, try to look for it yourself before you go asking third party for help who most likely might try to scam you.”
And the user received a string of supportive messages, with some insisting his brother would have wanted him to have the Bitcoins.
“Unless your brother hated you i think it’s fine,” one replied.
“Better for that money to at least bring someone or some people joy rather than just sit and do nothing.”
Another said: “I’ve told my family plenty of times how they could recover my Bitcoin should something ever happen to me.”
In another crypto tale, a Bitcoin trader claimed he lost crypto now worth £300 million when his mum threw out his broken laptop.
He claimed he purchased 10,000 Bitcoin in early 2010 as a punt, spending around £50 ($80) after being convinced by his college roommates – storing the keys on his laptop after transferring them from a USB.
As he graduated and started to get on with his life – he eventually forgot about the coins.
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- Bitcoin is a virtual currency
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- Mining involves solving difficult maths problems using computer processors
- Bitcoin can be traded anonymously, which can make it a popular way of funding illegal activities
- The value of Bitcoin fluctuates wildly
- Bitcoin is one of many different cryptocurrencies, but by far the most popular
But then in 2014 as cryptocurrencies gained traction the now 25-year-old claimed he remembered his purchase, and went back to look for it thinking he may be sitting on a huge fortune as Bitcoin’s value boomed.
And when he went back home to try and find his old laptop, he discovered the device had been tossed out by his mum.
He said his 10,000 Bitcoin would now be worth £300million.
“I literally fainted, I was angry, confused, shocked, in denial, sad, raged and so many other emotions,” he wrote in a post in 2019.
He claimed he even grew resentful of his mum as he blamed her for throwing away the laptop, which had been sitting in a pile of “untouched junk” for years.
And a crypto trader lost £200 million worth of the coins after he forgot his password.
A woman also found she spent £500,000 of Bitcoin on weed and MDMA.
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And Brit computer engineer James Howells hit the headlines after he threw out a hard drive containing more than £200 million worth of Bitcoin.
The 35-year-old continues to beg Newport Council to allow him to search a landfill where he believes it is buried – even offering them £55 million worth of the fortune.
On Monday, Bitcoin was below its 20-day moving average at $34,256.