In 2009, James Howells, a British IT professional, bought 7,500 Bitcoins and place them in a hard drive. Unfortunately, he completely forgot about them and threw away the hard drive that they were stored in. Today those Bitcoins would have been worth $7.5 million. That is like buying a winning lottery ticket, but accidentally throwing it away with other scrap paper that was in your pocket. The hard drive was thrown in a landfill near Newport, Wales.
“I’m at the point where it’s either laugh about it or cry about it,” stated Howells in an interview with The Guardian. “Why aren’t I out there with a shovel now? I think I’m just resigned to never being able to find it.”
This just proves that keeping your Bitcoins on your hard drive without back-ups can be very risky.
Other reasons why Bitcoin can be risky is because of theft. There has been a couple of incidents where Bitcoins were stolen from a “Bitcoin bank.” BIPs was robbed of $990,000 worth of Bitcoins recently after hackers broke into the service and wiped out the wallets from several users.
Even though Bitcoins are risky, there users can reap major rewards from the digital currency. Another man in the U.K. bought $27 worth of Bitcoin in 2009, but found out that the investment was worth $886,000 so he bought an apartment in a wealthy part of Oslo.