When it comes to technology and all its terms, I freely admit to being as thick as two short planks. Copying and pasting is probably the most advanced task I can confidently master.

For this old school frumpster a cloud is a white floaty thing in the sky, backing up is reversing, a hard drive would be the Parapara's on a wet day and uploads and downloads are both polite descriptions of unpleasant bodily functions.

Any wonder then, that until recently, I was just as clueless when it came to the term Bitcoin.

When they first came into being, Clone the elder, still living at home at the time, took quite an interest in them and tried, albeit fruitlessly, to explain them to me.

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Naturally, it went way over my head, a bit like an aeroplane, but I nodded as if I understood and tried to feign interest as best I could when he came to one day to set up my very own Bitcoin wallet on my PC, before placing 15 Bitcoins that he had mined, inside.

He then copied and pasted the wallet's identification number on my Microsoft Notepad for future reference, casually mentioning that they had the potential to increase in value, should they become the next big thing in the world of IT.

I was genuinely grateful for the effort he had put in and thanked him profusely for his gift whilst still remaining completely ignorant of the whole concept that was/is virtual currency.

Its success, back then, was in no way guaranteed - it was more of a big "wot if".
It was only 15 coins, hardly a king's ransom I thought. One day it might get me a cheeseburger and fries or perhaps a large pizza.

And so the wallet stayed there, untouched and often forgotten about.

Unlike a good bottle of wine, computers do not get better with age and mine was no exception and although it had never had a virus in its life it eventually succumbed to a self-induced coma of sorts.

Showing no signs of life I made the call to pull the plug rather than resuscitate and nor did I opt to harvest any "organs" of worth.

The hard drive was just unceremoniously hiffed out onto the back deck where it would remain exposed to the elements, until such time as I could arrange a trip to the dump.
Yes, I remembered the wallet and its contents but naively assumed that, much like my Gmail account, it would be accessible via my new replacement PC and let's face it, we were only talking 15 coins ... no great loss, really.

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Fast forward 5-6 years, to today and guess who's kicking themselves?

I've hosted a few pity parties in recent weeks, losing myself in the dream of what those recklessly discarded 15 bloody Bitcoins could have afforded me.

The knowledge that somewhere out there at the Whanganui tip is my old hard drive and its virtual wallet, now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars aka a few pounds of a butter and a mediocre pumpkin plant.

What's done is done and from the stories I have read recently, I'm certainly not alone in the accidental or inadvertent disposal of both a virtual and literal small fortune.

Strange as it may be, it's the whole virtual thing that makes the mistake more bearable.

It's like because the coins weren't tangible, to begin with, they were never real in the first place.

But it still sux! LOL
investik8@gmail.com