Back in April, my good friend and doubles tennis partner, Dan Seitz, wrote a brief but insightful post about what bitcoins are and why they were suddenly rising in value, and while he didn’t actually teach me anything, I’m still able to look back at it right now and think, “Damn technology, you crazy.” That said, there are other people out there who, like me, have no clue how bitcoins have made people any money, but one specific Norwegian man can now laugh in all of our faces, because he at least bought some of this digital money back in 2009, and now he’s technically pretty stinking rich.
According to The Guardian, Kristoffer Koch spent $27 on 5,000 bitcoins four years ago while working on his thesis on encryption, and he eventually forgot that he had them. Fast forward to April, when the value of bitcoins hit $266 a pop, and Koch suddenly remembered, “Hey, I have some of those.” To the tune of roughly $885,000.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
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.
“It said I had 5,000 bitcoins in there. Measuring that in today’s rates it’s about NOK5m ($886,000),” Koch told NRK.
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, plummeting before jumping $30 in one day to a high of $197 in October. (Via The Guardian)
At $197, Koch would currently have about $788,000 worth of bitcoins, as he was wise enough to cash in one-fifth of his fortune to buy himself a nice apartment in the wealthier neighborhood of Tøyen in Oslo. But even if bitcoins became completely worthless tomorrow, Koch would have essentially spent $27 on an apartment.
If you’ll excuse me, I have 11 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie cards to light on fire.