On Oct. 25, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation reported that student Kristoffer Koch has become wealthy from a random investment in cryptocurrency.
In 2009, Koch was working on a college thesis about encryption. While doing so, he found out about Bitcoin, a then-little-known internet cryptocurrency developed in 2008. He spent 150 kroner (about $US 24) to buy 5,000 Bitcoins, and then forgot about the investment.
Earlier this year, Koch read media reports of the surge in Bitcoin prices after the Cypriot financial crisis. “I thought to myself, didn't I have something like that?,” Koch said. He had forgotten his password and took some time to open his Bitcoin wallet, but his 5,000 Bitcoins were still there. “It said 5,000 bitcoins there. Measuring that in today's rates it's about 5 million kroner,” he said. This represents a 33,332 percent return on investment.
He cashed out about 1,000 Bitcoins, which provided him enough kroner to buy an apartment in Toyen, one of the richer areas of Oslo.
Koch's partner once believed that he was spending “real money” on “fake money.” “She thinks I spend money on a bunch of crap. I buy a lot of technical little things that I never have time to use, and this was the worst of all, the fact that I was buying fake money,” Koch said. She now thinks differently. “She says that I should be allowed to buy the things I want,” Koch said.