A crypto puzzle that fascinated the community for months was finally solved this week as Coinbase director Conor revealed the owner of one of the most valuable Ethereum wallets.
In February, Conor highlighted an Ethereum address containing over $469 million worth of ETH and tokens from airdrops. The wallet’s owner initially purchased $75,000 worth of ETH during the 2014 ICO and has simply held the funds since without ever moving them.
The untouched fortune had grown to be worth over 5333x the original investment solely through price appreciation. With no clues about the owner’s identity or if they even still held the keys, the wallet represented one of crypto’s great mysteries.
After months of speculation, Conor shared that the wallet’s owner is Rain Lohmus, founder of LHV Bank in Estonia. Unfortunately, Lohmus lost access to the wallet’s private keys and is unable to access the hundreds of millions in funds.
Lohmus has offered to split the fortune with anyone who can somehow help recover the lost keys. So far, the funds remain stranded in the wallet, taunting their owner.
This dormant wallet highlights the immense rewards early cryptocurrency adopters have reaped simply from buying and holding assets. But it also serves as a cautionary tale about properly securing private keys.
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Lohmus’ absentminded handling of his keys cost him access to a once-in-a-lifetime fortune. As cryptocurrency continues entering the mainstream, stories like this emphasize the need for education on protecting and managing private keys for novices.
For now, the $450 million remains locked away indefinitely until Lohmus finds a way to regain access. The saga of this whale wallet exemplifies both the potential upsides and pitfalls of cryptocurrency.
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