In Costa Rica, investor Mircea Popescu, who, according to unconfirmed reports, owned 1 million bitcoins, died under mysterious circumstances. The fate of crypto assets remains unknown
One of the early Bitcoin investors, Mircea Popescu, drowned under mysterious circumstances on the Costa Rican coast, Trustnodes reports, citing the local Department of Forensic Investigations (OIJ). The incident took place back on June 23, when Popescu decided to swim at Playa Hermosa Beach in the province of Puntarenas.
The OIJ claims that the deceased was a Pole, however, according to unconfirmed reports , Popescu is Romanian. The death of the crypto investor was confirmed by Tur Demeester , a partner of the Adamant Capital cryptocurrency fund, and Diana Coman , a web developer.
What Popescu is known for
Mircea Popescu is considered one of the earliest proponents of Bitcoin. Popescu was a conservative and opposed even the smallest blockchain changes to the main cryptocurrency. Already in 2012, he launched the MPEx cryptocurrency exchange. Registration on the site cost 30 bitcoins.
According to unconfirmed reports, in 2016 Popescu owned more than 1 million bitcoins ($ 34 billion at the current exchange rate). It is not known what happened to the cryptocurrency after the death of the cryptoinvestor.
According to the anonymous market maker and well-known member of the crypto community i.am.nomad, Popescu was a “sleeping giant” because he could drop Bitcoin to zero in one moment.
I took the keys with me
Popescu's case is far from the only one when a cryptocurrency was irretrievably lost after the death of its owner. In December 2018, Jerry Cotten, the founder of the Quadriga CX cryptocurrency exchange, passed away. During his lifetime, he kept private keys to cold cryptocurrency wallets, which contained funds from users of the site – about $ 143 million. After Cotten's death, the crypto exchange stopped working, since the platform's management was unable to access the wallets.
In his early interviews, Cotten argued that he kept the private keys on paper in a safe deposit box so that attackers would not be able to gain access to them.
About 20% of the bitcoins already mined (18.5 million coins) are on wallets, the passwords for which were irretrievably lost, writes The New York Times . Taking into account the current exchange rate as of June 28, the value of the lost digital coins is $ 125 billion.
Entrepreneur Brad Yasar told the publication that he spent hundreds of hours trying to access cryptocurrency wallets that store the bitcoins he mined in the early years after the coin's appearance. According to him, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins are now stored on his hard drives, but he cannot remember passwords.
On June 23, another well-known member of the crypto community, as well as the creator of the McAfee antivirus, John McAfee, passed away. He was found dead in a Spanish prison. The businessman's lawyer said that the cause of his death was suicide. On the same day, a Spanish court ruled to extradite McAfee to the United States.
In mid-June, McAfee announced that he no longer had a fortune. According to him, cryptocurrency assets "gradually dissolved" thanks to members of his team, and the rest of the savings were confiscated by the authorities.