And that’s not the worst. I boasted just recently about being so clever to “invest” in Bitcoins, in front of my coworkers. I feel duped and so endless dumb. Yet another example where I trusted in someone, and was betrayed. I’m already such a cynic. How cynical does one have to be?
I don’t want to tell someone. Not my coworkers. And not my wife. But all twelve Bitcoins, actually worth 72$ US Dollar each, are gone. I exchanged them for classical money around a year and a half ago, at BitMarket.eu. Back then, the first popularity wave (with a top price of around 30 bucks each coin) has just ceased, and I only paid around 80 bucks for all of the coins.
There were many stories about hacked Bitcoin wallets …
Before I continue, I think some of you might not be aware of Bitcoin, so there might be some background information necessary. Let me introduce Bitcoin to you. Just some opinionated major points, for the real in-depth introduction go to bitcoin.org. Bitcoin is first and foremost a digital currency. Well, like the majority of all other currencies by now, too. OK, that doesn’t make them special. What makes them special is, there is no one controlling the amount of money.
No government or agency can simply order to produce more of them. It is possible to forge Bitcoins through computing power, though. But there is a hard limit (21 million) and a throttle. The closer it gets to the limit the more difficult it will get to produce new ones. The same is true with the overall computing power that exists in the network: when the power rises, the difficulty is adjusted. All that happens transparently by the Bitcoin-network itself. Besides being a currency, Bitcoin is a P2P-network, as well as the communication protocol.
But don’t fear that there are no coins left for you. Every coin can be split, actually down to 8 decimal places, but with plans for further breakdown. A 0.00000001 Bitcoin is called a Satoshi, honoring the original inventor, whose whereabouts are still very mysterious.
Back to the wallets. A wallet stores some arbitrary numbers: Bitcoin addresses. A Bitcoin address is like an IBAN, if you will, to which coins are bound. As I stated above there were stories about hijacked wallets on local computers, so I decided simply to let my coins reside on my Bitmarket.eu account.
Guess what happened recently. One of the site’s administrators took the coins from many customers, including me, and put them on Bitcoinica. Which simply faded away and took all the stored coins with it.
Bitmarket.eu is openly providing information regarding this incident and was, I believe, even honest to some degree. The reason for taking the customers coins is still somewhat fuzzy. I learned through their own public announcements, that the service was not profitable, so I guess they (or even only this particular administrator) tried to gamble a bit, to make it profitable.
Then only a few weeks ago they came up with a restoration plan. I did put hope in that and readily agreed to go with it. Since I thought I could get my coins back. I’m not in a hurry, because I took the whole thing more as a long term investment. I still had some hope to get my full twelve coins back some day.
After being attacked some days ago, Bitmarket.eu was down and is now closed. The site has been back up since yesterday. The plan for restoration is now visible in my user account. Regrettably it has changed somehow. Maybe because of the exploding market price. I can only hope to get 10€ each coin paid out someday or get Bitcoins worth 120€, which are only a little more than two coins taking the actual market price.
I don’t want to give them my bank account information. And in fact, still want to own Bitcoins. But twelve not two. Maybe I just hang in there a little longer, till the price makes another deep-dive and request my 12 coins back then. Since, I guess when the price falls again under 10€ each coin, they won’t give me coins worth 120€, anymore.