JAMES BOWERY ADVISED ME TO GET BITCOINS IN 2009 WHEN THEY CAME OUT. THIS NORWEGIAN MAN BOUGHT 5000 AT $26. IN 2013 THEY WERE WORTH $980K; NOW , ON CHRISTMAS 2017, THEY'D BE WORTH VERY ROUCHLY $85 MILLION.
The meteoric rise in bitcoin has meant that within the space of four years, one Norwegian man’s $27 investment turned into a forgotten $886,000 windfall.
Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption. He promptly forgot about them until widespread media coverage of the anonymous, decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory.
Bitcoins are stored in encrypted wallets secured with a private key, something Koch had forgotten. After eventually working out what the password could be, Koch got a pleasant surprise:
“It said I had 5,000 bitcoins in there. Measuring that in today’s rates it’s about NOK5m ($886,000),” Koch told NRK.
Silk Road fluctuations
In April 2013, the value of bitcoin peaked at $266 before crashing to a low of $50 soon after. Since then, bitcoin has seen large fluctuations in its value, most recently following the seizure of online drugs marketplace Silk Road, plummetingbefore jumping $30 in one day to a high of $197 in October.
Koch exchanged one fifth of his 5,000 bitcoins, generating enough kroner to buy an apartment in Toyen, one of the Norwegian capital’s wealthier areas.