We hear it all the time “Honey, Don’t forget your keys!” Most times, it’s terrifying when we do. What happens when they are your private keys to your Bitcoin wallet?  For those who haven’t experienced it yet, the mere thought can make you shiver. For those who actually have, they seem so unlucky we can’t help but laugh sometimes. Well, for today’s article you guessed it! We’re diving into our top 3 stories where people lost out on (possibly) millions because of losing their private keys to access their Bitcoin. We feel their pain and we would hate to be in their shoes.

The Farmer and the Mac

This is a 2020 story which centers on a Missouri based farmer named “Samantha”, who seems to have lost $100,000 worth of Bitcoin. Allegedly, she came across this fortune after trying to order some medicine overseas in Europe for her animals. Oddly, before the medicine could get shipped to the US, it became illegal to import. The seller, who found it challenging to give a refund in USD asked if he could give a refund in Bitcoin, instead; to which, she accepted. Sadly, she didn’t pay much attention to what she had until it was too late. One iMac, 5 email addresses, 3 USB drives and one external hard drive later, the golden key to access the Bitcoin is still to be found. You can follow this ongoing mystery, and get a more in-depth view of the recovery process at the link below:


“The Rodfather” Clifton Collins

This wild story takes place in Dublin, Ireland. A beekeeper turned drug dealer, Clifton Collins, amassed a fortune of 6,000 Bitcoin (€55 million at the time) over the course of his enterprise. Unfortunately after he was arrested in 2017 for possession of the devil’s lettuce, a group of nefarious thieves broke into his rented home. His landlord also allowed for his belongings to be cleared out and taken to the dump to be incinerated in Germany and China. It’s assumed that his fishing rod case, containing the A4 paper with his private keys, probably got lost in the mix since it hasn’t been found. Collins seems to have made peace with this loss though as he sees it as a punishment for his actions. Check out the full story below:


Saved by the Stay

Our last story is a tale of hope and glory so you don’t feel completely hopeless. An unnamed man placed his private keys into an encrypted file, storing the access to his $300,000 BTC fortune. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. Say it with me everyone! He forgot his password. Usually the story would end there, but with the help of a specialized cryptographer named Mike Stay, he was able to recover the funds and break the encryption. There was a catch though, it would cost 100,000 bucks and take a year to break the encryption. Our guy in question took the risk however, since he knew it would be worth it in the end. Full story below:


On average how much Bitcoin do you think gets lost every day? Now that people know the value of Bitcoin, it’s probably not as high a number as it was before. Keys still get lost with other circumstances of course, such as death and Bitcoin being sent to the wrong address from time to time. All we can advise is that you keep those keys safe so you don’t end up sharing the misfortune of these unlucky few.