Without deleting the private key and password, the South African engineer almost a millionaire with 20 Bitcoin

Mark Michaels, a 24-year-old South African electronic engineer, revealed that he mined 20 BTC when he was young. This means he’s almost a Bitcoin millionaire. Unfortunately, he lost the key and password for his Bitcoin wallet.

Almost a Bitcoin millionaire but only if he knew his password

Over 10 years ago, when Michaels was in 7th grade, he explored the Internet to learn how to mine Bitcoin, and he finally got started.

“I believe I used the original Bitcoin wallet software, which required a wallet key and password to access,” Michaels said.

Then, within a few weeks, the engineer mined 20 BTC. At the time, Bitcoin only cost $0.0008. Aside from the fact that its price was insignificant, there were also no crypto platforms that would enable him to sell the assets for money.

“Eventually, I got bored of it, as you couldn’t do much else on your PC while it was busy, and the Bitcoin you mined was practically worthless”, Michaels stated.

At that time, he was still young and the money was almost worthless, so Michaels stored his key and password for his Bitcoin wallet in a text document on his computer desktop. At one point, Michaels accidentally deleted the files while cleaning up his device.


When the price of BTC rose to $1,000 a few years later, this South African man made his first real attempt to restore the lost BTC. “I remember collecting all the hard drives, memory sticks, CDs, and DVDs in the house and carefully going through each of them. This took around a week. I also tried running data recovery software on my main hard drive, but this was not of much use. By then, that drive had been formatted and reused multiple times”, he added.

The Bitcoin Michaels holds is worth about $980,000 dollars, in today’s prices. However, he said he made peace with losing access to his assets, comparing his case to predicting the winning numbers of a Lotto ticket and then deciding not to buy it.

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