A Norwegian man made a Bitcoin purchase worth $27 in 2009 and forgot all about it. Four years after, his digital currency is worth a million dollars.
Bitcoin has been lauded as a force to be reckoned with in digital payments, with its deregulated and anonymous nature. Before the digital currency became a household name — particularly among tech-savvy users — however, it was interesting because of the security features offered by encryption. Oslo-based Kristoffer Koch studied Bitcoin in 2009 as part of his undergraduate thesis and bought the equivalent of $27 in digital currency and then promptly forgot about this currency exchange.
Bitcoin gained infamy four years later, mostly because of its use in the underground scene. The digital currency does have its advantages, in terms of encryption and anonymity. Therefore, while being a legitimate form of payment, it is also likely to be used for illicit activities. Just this year, for instance, the FBI shut down Silk Road, a “dodgy online market” used for black-market e-commerce activities like trading illegal drugs.
This April, Koch checked his Bitcoin wallet to discover that the initial $27 purchase of 5,000 Bitcoins he made was already valued at over $880,000. This October, the value has risen to just about $1 million.
The Guardian reports how Koch has cashed in on some of his digital currency and used the proceeds to buy a comfortable home in one of Oslo’s upscale residential areas.
As any real-world currency, Bitcoin is also prone to fluctuations, which can bring its value up or down depending on scenarios like market demand and stability. Governments, however, are already starting to recognize the currency as a valid one, which means countries can already tax legitimate activities like the purchase of goods or payment of wages. Perhaps a testament to the increasing popularity of the currency is the launch of Bitcoin ATMs in Canada and some British pubs accepting the currency as payment for merchandise.
Not everyone can become an unexpected millionaire, however, unless one has had an interest and investment in the currency since the beginning. Still, this demonstrates how digital platforms can create real value for users.
Source: The Guardian