Norwegian Man Turned $26 Into $886k with Bitcoin Investment

Published by: Mike Goldman on 9th Dec 2015 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman

Norwegian Man Turned $26 Into $886k with Bitcoin Investment

Thanks to the unprecedented growth in the value of bitcoins, Norwegian Kristoffer Koch discovered in 2013 that he had turned a $26 investment in bitcoins into an $886,000 windfall. While working on a thesis on encryption technologies in 2009, Koch purchased 5,000 bitcoins for 150 kroner $26.60). The busy scholar says he completely forgot about the investment until, in April 2013, media began covering the digital currency. Koch remembered the password to his bitcoin account, and discovered that the 5,000 bitcoins were now worth about 5 million kroner ($$886,000). Koch's timing couldn't have been better, as the value of bitcoins peaked that month at about $266 each. The value plummeted not long after that, reaching an all-time low of $50. Koch exchanged one-fifth of the stash and bought an apartment in trendy Toyen, an upscale neighborhood in Oslo.

Contrary to the name, bitcoins are a purely digital currency, with no physical representation in the form of bills or coins. They are usually left in an encrypted “wallet”, which the owner can only access with a password. Bitcoins are traditionally purchased through a bitcoin “exchanger”, the most notable being Mt Gox. Users also cash in their bitcoins through exchangers. Recently, bitcoins have been gaining traction in the real world as a number of pubs in England have started accepting the currency. A bitcoin ATM was even brought online in October in Vancouver, Canada. The machine scans a user's palm before allowing them to buy or sell bitcoins.

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