Four years later, a Norwegian man remembers a fateful Bitcoin purchase, which has nearly made him a millionaire.
Kristoffer Koch, having read up on the digital currency bitcoin while researching a thesis on encryption, invested 150 kronner ($26.60) into the newly founded currency back in 2009, netting him a tidy sum of 5000 bitcoins. In its infancy at the time, bitcoin didn’t exactly have the best reputation, meaning its value was nowhere near as high as it is today. Over time however, the cryptocurrency began to gain traction, most notably being used as the single form of currency on the infamous Silk Road, which the FBI shut down earlier this month.
While Koch forgot about his fateful purchase for a few years, bitcoin’s appearance in today’s media reminded him of his purchase back in April, and he immediately began attempts to remember his password to his bitcoin wallet. After a slew of attempts, he was able to login, and to his surprise, his initial investment had ballooned to the tune of $886,000. After exchanging one-fifth of his bitcoins for cash, Koch purchased an apartment in the upscale neighborhood of Toyen, Norway.
If you’re thinking of getting into the bitcoin game yourself, you should take note that over the years, purchasing bitcoins has become a bit more tricky. Typically, bitcoins are purchased from an “exchanger”, and with many customers wishing to remain anonymous, many transactions are done through physical means (money order, cash, etc.), meaning transactions can sometimes take a bit to process. Moreover, bitcoins are particularly volatile; the aforementioned shutdown of the Silk Road caused the value of the currency to plummet nearly 50% in a single day. Still, bitcoin is beginning to gain a presence in the physical world as well; a handful of British pubs accept bitcoin as currency, without the need to exchange for cash, and websites including Reddit, OKCupid, and WordPress accept the digital currency.