InfoWars founder Alex Jones revealed in a recent Flagrant 2 interview that he lost a laptop with 10,000 BTC. At today’s price, the lost coins are worth over $570 million.
Alex Jones had received the coins as a gift from early bitcoin proponent Max Keiser ten years ago. According to Jones, Max Keiser handed him the bitcoins, telling him that he told me that Bitcoin would “replace the dollar and that Japanese guy invented it.”
However, Alex failed to properly take care of the gift, which Max Keiser confirmed in a tweet that he did give Alex. The price of Bitcoin, then?
The price was under $5 at the time. https://t.co/NRDpxsjvnu
— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) March 10, 2021
Around 20% of Bitcoin’s current circulating supply, equating to tens of billions of dollars, are permanently lost because of forgotten private keys.
Lost Bitcoin Fortunes
With the price of Bitcoin reaching record numbers in recent weeks, more cases similar to Alex’s continue to pop up.
Earlier this year, Coinfomania reported that a Newport man, James Howells, who mistakenly lost his BTC hardware wallet during a house cleanup in 2013, appealed to the city council to excavate a landfill site in search of his lost fortune.
Howells is said to have stored 7,500 BTC on the wallet. He had been denied requests to excavate the site on several occasions until January 14, when he pledged 25% of the asset for the Coronavirus relief fund if found.
Another Bitcoiner, Stefan Thomas, also reportedly lost more than 7,000 BTC to a forgotten private key. The keys to his 7,002 Bitcoin, now worth about $220 million, at that time, are locked in a small hard drive called IronKey.
The IronKey wallet has a feature that allows owners who forget their passwords to attempt 10 guesses. Failure to get the password right on the 10th attempt, the wallet seizes up its contents [in this case, the private keys] indefinitely. Thomas revealed that he lost the paper where he stored the password to his IronKey harddrive and has just two attempts left after desperately using up eight.
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