Drug dealer lost his bitcoin PIN codes... and $60 million

Drug dealer Clifton Collins, 49, invested his earnings in bitcoin, eventually racking up $60 million. For safekeeping, he printed the PIN codes to access his accounts and stored them in a fishing rod case at his house. But after Collins was busted on a weed charge and sent to jail, his landlord had all of Collins's stuff hauled to the dump. From The Guardian:

According to the Irish Times, which first reported the story, workers at the dump told the Irish police force, the gardaí, they remembered seeing discarded fishing gear. Waste from the dump goes to Germany and China to be incinerated. The fishing rod case has never been found.

Collins, 49, has apparently told the gardaí he has come to terms with the loss of the fortune and considers it punishment for his own stupidity.

The high court in Dublin ruled this week that Collins had forfeited the accounts because they were proceeds from crime...

The Criminal Assets Bureau thought it had hit the jackpot when it confiscated the accounts. Authorities hope they may some day access them.

"Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case" (The Guardian)

And in case you missed this excellent tale:

• "‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin" by Mark Frauenfelder Read the rest

The mysterious correlation between avocado and Bitcoin prices

For a while, I blamed myself. I had that noticed my paltry Bitcoin investment was doing well, so I threw some extra cash in, just to say what it would do. That was just this past July. Days later, the value tanked. By September, I was down nearly 25 percent. Things have started to settle, but it's seemed so unpredictable that I've been hesitant to celebrate.

Now I know the truth. It wasn't my fault. It was the avocados—those same god damn avocados that ruined everything for millennials like me. But at least I got to enjoy them for cheaper while I stuffed my face to escape the pain of my crashing investment.

This isn't the first time someone has noticed the correlation, either. Back in April, the price of both jumped 35 percent. The avocados made sense—at the time, Trump had threatened to completely close the US-Mexico border, which would have seriously diminished our access to those delicious Aztesticles. Of course, we can always grow more avocados, whereas there will only ever be a finite 21 million theoretical Bitcoins in the world.

Clearly, there's a deeper meaning here. Correlation is not necessarily causation, it's true. But it's hard to deny the synchronicity, so weighted as it is with meaning. Perhaps the answer lies in the last untried home investment for millennials: Bitcoin Toast.

Think about it. Read the rest

How one guy lost millions of dollars of bitcoin to a hacker

A hacker called up T-Mobile and convinced the customer service representative that he was Jared Kenna. T-Mobile believed the hacker and transferred Kenna's phone number from T-Mobile to another carrier. Once the hacker had Kenna's phone number he took over about 30 of Kenna's accounts, which had been protected with 2-factor authentication. The accounts included "two banks, PayPal, two bitcoin services — and, crucially, his Windows account, which was the key to his PC." In short order the hacker stole "millions" of dollars worth of Kenna's bitcoin.

From Laura Shin's article in Forbes:

Kenna was so early in bitcoin that he remembers when he would plug his computer into the network and see only four other computers running it. Now, there are more than 5,000. Computers supporting the network are slated into a competition to win bitcoin roughly every 10 minutes. In the early days, the payout was 50 bitcoin each time; now it’s 12.5. Kenna recalls that at a certain point, when he was “only” winning 50 bitcoins a day, he stopped supporting the network, thinking it wasn’t worth it. At today’s price, he was giving up on $40,000 a day.

Though he did have some bitcoins in online services, particularly since his businesses accept bitcoin as payment, he kept almost all his bitcoins on an encrypted hard drive. “It was essentially my never-sell-this-until-it-goes-to-a-billion-dollars nest egg,” he says. He had kept it offline for most of the past several years, but had connected that device in recent weeks to move them somewhere more secure and sell some.

Read the rest