Man's Forgotten $27 Bitcoin Buy Becomes $886K

Researcher bought 5K Bitcoins on a whim in 2009

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 30, 2013 5:04 AM CDT | Updated Nov 3, 2013 5:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Completely forgetting about the $27 in Bitcoin he bought while researching the online currency is the best investment move Kristoffer Koch is ever likely to make. Four years after his 2009 research on encryption, media coverage of the currency earlier this year jogged the Norwegian's memory and he was amazed to discover his 5,000 Bitcoins were worth $886,000, reports the Guardian. Cashing in just a fifth of his investment bought Koch a new apartment in one of Oslo's wealthiest areas.

The 5,000 Bitcoins would be worth around $1 million this week, although the currency is known for huge fluctuations, Gizmodo notes. A Bitcoin was worth $13 in January, $266 in April, and $30 for a brief period after the FBI took down the Silk Road online drug bazaar last month. As a sign of how far toward the mainstream the currency has moved over the last few years, an ATM that exchanges cash for Bitcoin and vice versa opened in a Vancouver, Canada, coffee shop this week and is seeing brisk business, Reuters reports. (Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania man's $10 bill could be worth $500,000.)

These physical versions of Bitcoins have codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals.
These physical versions of Bitcoins have codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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