Early Bitcoin dev misses out on $1.3B after selling too soon

“I’d be a billionaire now if I hadn’t sold the 55,000 bitcoins I mined on my laptop in 2009-2010 way too early.”

Martti Malmi, one of the earliest Bitcoin developers and also known as Sirius, has explained what happened to his once massive crypto holdings since 2009. 

According to a Friday Twitter thread from the former Bitcoin (BTC) developer, Malmi mined roughly 55,000 coins between 2009 and 2010 when the price was almost zero. Malmi said that he ended up liquidating 5,050 BTC for $5 in October 2009, and losing 30,000 BTC through one of the first Bitcoin exchanges he ran when “there was no established exchange rate.”

“I was planning to HODL the rest of my BTC, but had to sell the most of it at a bad rate (~$5) in 2012 when finding a new job took longer than expected,” said Malmi. “Since then I’ve kept my varying amount of savings in BTC. That’s not much, but still nice gains over the years.”

However, the Bitcoin developer’s arguably most substantial investment from his early crypto earnings was when he sold 10,000 BTC in 2011 to buy an apartment in Helsinki. “Probably the most expensive studio in the world now,” he said on Twitter.

With Bitcoin’s recent rally to $24,000, Malmi’s original 55,000 BTC holdings would now be worth more than $1.3 billion. Despite this, the former developer says he “never had serious regret.”

“This hasn’t been as rough as it might first sound,” said Malmi. “It’s not like I ever had $1B and lost it overnight. Besides Bitcoin’s success, I was pretty darn happy about getting my own apartment at age 22.”

He added:

“Perhaps owing to Finnish culture, idealistic mentality and lack of life experience, I never thought much about making money. It happened accidentally as a byproduct of Satoshi asking me to keep my node running so others could connect.”

Malmi is not the only major crypto figure who liquidated their holdings seemingly out of necessity. In October, Ripple CTO David Schwartz revealed that he sold 40,000 Ether (ETH) at $1 each as part of a risk management plan he made with his spouse in 2012. The tokens would now be worth more than $26 million after the price passed $600 last week.

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