If it can happen to Woz, it can happen to any of us.
At the Global Business Summit hosted by the Indian newspaper The Economic Times, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said someone stole seven bitcoins from him. Wozniak sold the bitcoins to someone who paid for them with a credit card. The credit card transaction was then cancelled before it cleared, leaving him with nothing to show for what would now be worth over $70,000. The credit card number turned out to be stolen, leaving him with no recourse to claim back the money.
Blockchain, the technology on which bitcoin is founded, keeps track of who has Bitcoins, but not who is buying them from whom. Wozniak’s interest in Bitcoin, like that of many other enthusiasts, rests on its “purity.” At the Summit, he told an audience, “Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered.” But, as he found out, that level of purity requires the sacrifice of a certain level of security.
Though he still believes in the currency, Wozniak recently divested from Bitcoin, saying he was interested in it only as an experiment. When he divested he told CNBC, “I said, ‘I don’t want to become one of those people that watches it, watches it and cares about the number.’ I don’t want that kind of care in my life.”
Wozniak can afford not to care about the number; he is worth upwards of $100 million.