According to a Reddit post, while many BTC hodlers lost 50% in the past three months, a Turkish investor did them one better and lost a cool 100% of his $170,000 of BTC by returning a laptop which had his only copy of a crypto wallet on it.
The investor, Kerem Albayrak, starts his post with a stark warning and reminder that wallets must always be backed up, noting ‘It’s not a joke. You don’t realize shit happens until it happens don’t be that guy in my position. Please copy your backup codes and secure your wallet it’s not a good feeling,’ to suddenly lose all one’s crypto.
Albayrak had transferred his wallet on to a web based blockchain wallet, using an automatically generated password with the backup and recovery phrase offline on his computer after he ‘had an incident with an offline wallet and got scared.’ Following this, Albayrak decided to exchange his computer with a smaller one, and found he had to return the computer that day in order to qualify for an exchange. In his haste, he neglected to transfer the password information online or onto a new device.
While an online wallet might offer someone the ability to recover funds from any device if the original device fails, a user of course would need the password. After Albayrak realized his mistake, it was too late. He spent the night calling Apple services and returned to the store the next thing in the morning to discover his device, along with his access to $170,000 worth of Bitcoin, was formatted.
If anybody has ideas to help me restore my wallet let me know— Kerem Albayrak (@TropicofYouth_) December 9, 2018
He calculated that using a brute-force password cracker would take 100 years, but Albayrak is fielding suggestions for alternative means of gaining access, offering 40% of his wallet if anyone can get him access again, which at the current price amounts to $68,000. The tale is a warning that almost always, the biggest security flaw in crypto trading is human error.