Wired Destroyed the Key to 13 BTC, Which Is Currently Worth $760k, in 2013 to Make a Point

Wired Destroyed the Key to 13 BTC

Wired pondered donating their Bitcoin (BTC) holdings to charity in 2013 but instead chose the “obvious” option of destroying the key to their 13-bitcoin wallet.

There has been no shortage of people and institutions who have grossly undervalued cryptocurrency’s potential.

Wired is one of the many previous Bitcoin skeptics, having deleted the private key to a Bitcoin (BTC) wallet containing 13.34623579 BTC in 2013 to demonstrate that the cryptocurrency was nothing more than an “abstraction.” The Bitcoin in the now-inaccessible address now has a value of $761,000.

To see what all the hoopla was about, author Robert McMillan (who is now a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal) set up a Butterfy Labs Bitcoin mining equipment in the corner of his own Wired office. And he was underwhelmed by the results of his little experiment.

He wrote, “The world’s most popular digital money is nothing more than an abstraction.” At the time, the journalist was debating what to do with Bitcoin and had considered donating them to charity.

“But, in the end,” he added, “the answer was obvious: we’re erasing the private key used by our Bitcoin wallet.”

“That means our rising Bitcoin fortune will be locked away in a digital vault for all eternity — or at least until the SHA-256 encryption that protects it is cracked.”
At the time, the Butterfly Labs ASIC was producing two Bitcoins every 10 days on average. Two BTC was valued at around $220 at the time, according to Wired. They’d be worth roughly $57,000 each now, or $112,000 for the two – a 51,000 percent raise.

In 2013, mining one BTC on a regular PC took an average of 13 hours. That time had increased to 23 days by 2014. According to the New York Times, mining one bitcoin will take ten years in 2021.

Bitcoin mining difficulty, on the other hand, had been steadily growing since 2013. Since 2009, McMillan claims that winning the Bitcoin mining “lottery” has gotten around 10 million times more difficult.

In a post-Wednesday, Reddit user leMartinx highlighted the piece, noting that the whole ordeal “shows how far we’ve come since 2013.” Many other users, however, were not so forgiving, such as Cappy2020, who said “serves them right for being so arrogant,” adding that “even if you felt Bitcoin was simply “daydreaming,” at least keep onto it in the off chance that you could be incorrect.”

Meanwhile, BakedPotato840 wrote:

“It’s not strange to see old posts with this viewpoint on Bitcoin. The folks who still hold similar views now are the ones who deserve to be chastised.”

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a financial enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class financial content, including crypto, blockchain, market, and business, to educate and inform readers.