Imagine realizing your Bitcoin's worth amassed to $58 million, and then realized that you could never touch it.
Clifton Collins, a drug dealer from Ireland, has just suffered this unfortunate fate. After being thrown into jail for growing and selling weed, all of Collins' Bitcoin codes were mistakenly thrown out.
How did Collins amass such a high amount of Bitcoin?
At the time that Collins purchased his 6,000 Bitcoin, between 2011 and 2012, the cryptocurrency's value was between $4 to $6. Today, that number is over $9,700.
It would have been a great investment had Collins not been put into jail for five years in 2017, for growing and selling weed. That same weed was what enabled Collins to buy the Bitcoin in the first place.
For nearly 12 years Clifton Collins quietly grew and sold cannabis before arrest at Sally Gap https://t.co/Q9xhyO6jDE— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) February 21, 2020
As he was stuck in jail, Collins' landlord decided to clear out his apartment and get rid of all of his possessions by throwing out most of his belongings into the local dump. Little did the landlord know that he was also throwing out $58 million worth in Bitcoin.
How did the landlord throw out Bitcoin?
As Bitcoin is virtual, how would it be possible for Collins' landlord to actually throw his cryptocurrency out?
Cryptocurrency is bought through a crypto wallet, and once you buy Bitcoin the crypto wallet issues the owner a code that enables them to access it. Usually, Bitcoin owners stash these codes in safe places, as anyone could steal their cryptocurrency if they were to get their hands on it.
Collins spread his Bitcoin across 12 different accounts so he had 12 different codes to "hide." He did so by printing these out onto an A4 piece of paper and hiding it in his fishing rode case. This case was part of the "junk" his landlord decided to throw out.
Drug dealer confiscated € 52 million worth of Bitcoin to the Criminal Property Bureau (CAB) after the Supreme Court ruled that it proceeded from criminals. The court accepted that Clifton Collins, from Crumlin was involved in the sale and supply of drugs.https://t.co/9eO1Vt37h7— AZCoin News (@azcoinnews) February 19, 2020
Even if Collins had been able to save the codes so as to access them once he gets out of jail he wouldn't have been allowed to have his Bitcoin. Ireland's Criminal Asset Bureau seized the cryptocurrency as it was purchased by selling illicit drugs.
Unfortunately for everyone, that cryptocurrency is just going to sit there, as neither Collins nor the Criminal Asset Bureau have the codes to access the 12 accounts.