The former security guard turned drug dealer Clifton Collins has lost access to Bitcoin worth about €53.6 million.
According to the Irish Times, 49 years old Clifton Collins amassed over 6,000 Bitcoin from growing and selling weed between 2011 and 2012. Bitcoin was priced at between $4 and $6 at that time.
Collins allegedly hid the codes to his Bitcoin stash in a fishing rod which up till now is yet to be found.
Collins in 2017 was unnerved by a lot of hack news and decided to split his earning across 12 new accounts. Transferring 500 Bitcoin (about €4.5 million) to each of them. He also printed the codes to his wallet into an A4 paper, hiding it in the aluminum cap of his fishing rod in his home in Farnaught, Cornamona, Co Galway.
Arrest and Incarceration
However, Collins was arrested in 2017, found guilty of selling and growing weed, and was jailed for five years.
During his time in jail, there was a break-in at his house. His landlord also admitted to clearing the house and sending many of Collins items to the Co Galway dump.
Speaking with authorities, officials at the dump disclosed that they remember seeing a fishing gear for a time at the dump. Adding that they could no longer find it and that waste is usually transported to Germany and China to be incinerated.
After his arrest in 2017, The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) seized his 12 online wallets containing 6,000 Bitcoin. However, up till now, the Bitcoin funds have remained out of the CAB’s reach. Though they have been able to confiscate lesser amounts of Bitcoin estimated to be about €1.5 million. Alongside about €100,000 in cash.
Cab officials are hoping that technology advancement with time will make it possible for them to access the BTC wallets.
Collins, on the other hand, has accepted the loss of his money as a reward for drug peddling. Much of his statement has been confirmed by several witnesses. From his landlord to those who assisted him in the splitting of his Bitcoin stash.
This isn’t the first-time crypto has become inaccessible to their owners. Several other people have also lost access to their wallets. One very remarkable example is Gerald Cotten, owner of QuadrigaCX exchange, who allegedly died of Crohn’s Disease in India.
Cotten’s death left more than $145 million of the exchange’s funds inaccessible, leading to the exchange filing for bankruptcy.
Vitalik Buterin, CEO of Ethereum, also urged crypto inventors to look into ensuring wallet security in the crypto space. He made this statement via a tweet when Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff allegedly also lost access to his wallet.
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