Australian Tells Story of Throwing Away Hard Drive Hosting 1400 Bitcoins

Australian Tells Story of Throwing Away Hard Drive With 1400 Bitcoins

Sydney-based technology journalist Campbell Simpson details his story of throwing away a hard drive containing 1400 bitcoin 5 years ago.

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“I Paypal’d Some Random Stranger From the Other Side of the World a Few US Dollars for a Digital Transaction of an Effectively Worthless Faux-Currency”

In 2010 Campbell spent $25 purchasing tokens distributed by a then obscure, unknown, and predominantly academic project called bitcoin. In exchange for this apparently foolhardy decision, Campbell was sent 1400 bitcoins.

Australian Tells Story of Throwing Away Hard Drive Hosting 1400 Bitcoins

“To be honest, the details are a bit foggy these days” states Campbell. “I Paypal’d some random stranger from the other side of the world a few US dollars for a digital transaction of an effectively worthless faux-currency.”

During 2010 bitcoin to fiat trade was virtually nonexistent. The majority of the bitcoin community were miners, mostly tech nerds or academics were involved in the project for reasons of curiosity. Campbell’s interest was sparked after reading an article about bitcoin – prompting him to purchase the nascent cryptocurrency simply to understand it better.

Approximately one year later Campbell was moving house and decided to use the opportunity to “clean up some of the accumulated tech detritus that comes with being a technology journalist. USB sticks, 3D glasses, USB cables, PC components. All that sort of literal junk. A pile of junk that went into a skip.”

Campbell Sees His Mistake as Only a Minor Regret

Upon realization of his blunder, Campbell was very calm, describing that “it wasn’t a big deal. It was one of those “aw, crap” moments that happen to everyone on a semi-regular basis. I got a parking ticket, I forgot to send a birthday card to a friend overseas, that kind of thing. Without the benefit of hindsight, of course, it wasn’t that big a deal… Bitcoin was a fun fad.”

Australian Tells Story of Throwing Away Hard Drive Hosting 1400 Bitcoins

In recent years bitcoin has irrefutably proved itself not to be a ‘fun fad’. For Campbell, he genuinely isn’t that upset by knowing that there is a hard drive sitting in a landfill with $3.5 million USD on it that used to be in his possession. “Time has been kind of the price of Bitcoin. Every now and then since… I’ve checked the price. Bitcoin has become pretty popular since 2011. And I’ve done a bit of back-of-the-napkin calculation, and – sometimes, not every time – had a bit of a quiet moment and a shake of my head.”

Moving forward, Campbell sees his mistake as only a minor regret. Perhaps knowing that he would have sold his BTC when a single bitcoin was worth approximately $2.50 each helps reconcile the hypothetical loss. “I don’t even especially want to find those Bitcoin, though. I’m really happy with my life at the moment. I don’t need them. I’d like them, sure, but I don’t need them. This isn’t trying to get philosophical – the real value was in the friends we made along the way, or some crap like that…  I spent $25 on some Bitcoin. When I realised what I’d lost, they were worth about $4000. If you wanted to put a dollar figure on the anguish that I feel, it’d be somewhere between those two. Definitely not in the realm of millions of dollars. It’s mostly a fun story that I trot out every now and then, and occasionally pretend to be mock-upset about, and only occasionally actually upset.”

Have you ever lost cryptocurrency only to discover it had risen in price? Share your experiences below!


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  • Serdar Senay

    I bought a laptop for 10 bitcoins, and the other 10 got lost in an exchange office that went bust… and the wallet I used at the time had 0.3 btc left which was small at the time, so years later now I forgot that wallet’s password so it’s stuck in there…

  • Ah, the tasty remorse of lost investment. Keep it in a safe on paper if you plan to HODL.

  • The key here is ‘threw away because he thought they were worthless’. And they almost were, then. There are tons of stories of people who could have been rich, BUT not only do they have to keep up with their coins, they have to resist the MULTIPLE temptations to sell at a much higher profit in order to be as wealthy as they would today.

  • Paris Kookie

    I put my currency data in a cloud.

  • Dr. Bubó

    A few years ago, I’ve got the phone number of the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. And I didn’t call her.

  • sjs

    At the end of the day there won’t be anywhere near 21m bitcoin available given how many were lost and not spent by Satoshi.

  • Ian O’Neill

    On the bright side for this emotionally strong Australian; money has begun to migrate to decentralized databases as a component of the technological revolution making manufacturing a locally based cottage industry once again; material wealth will be much more available to everyone in a generation or two, and so what’s a million dollars anyway?

  • I would be the world’s biggest dumpster diver.

  • Crush

    I set up a wallet sometime in early 2009. I was doing a search on Virtual games after reading about people spending real money to buy property in virtual worlds. During the process I saw the presentation from Bitcoin. It was so interesting and well done that I signed in and set up the wallet but “i believe” stopped short of putting actual dollars into a virtual currency. There was no exchange rate…..all virtual. I remember the wallet plan as day on the desk top. The computer crashed but I was so protective of the wallet I had a friend remove it and it sits sealed in plastic. I honestly believe I stopped short of funding “the wallet” . I definitely do not remember the password if I did.