The question “Do I still get my money?” is one of those that has been bugging me for a long time now. If I dump a computer at a friend’s house and it comes with bitcoins on it, does he still come with it? Or if I dump it at a friends house and he finds out that I have bitcoins on it will he call the police because there’s no way that I’m just handing him a bunch of worthless digital paper. I mean really – how hard would it be to scrub it clean? What would happen if a friend were to notice that there was some digital trail leading from my computer to his and there were no signs of any cleaning up.
I went to a public library the other day to check it out for myself.
I love libraries, because there’s always lots of stuff there that you can walk around and check out. It’s amazing how much old dusty books are still around and if you’re lucky you might even find an old copy of Satoshi Nakamoto’s latest masterpiece; “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash Protocol.” There it was, sitting there in front of me in all it’s glory. Of course I knew there was a digital trail leading from the computer right to my wallet but it took a while to actually find it.
Anyway, the laptop I found had one of those things that keeps everything in its place and I quickly got to work. The moment that I realized what I was looking for I knew that I had found the treasure. I hadn’t actually found the wallet but I had the digital trail that I needed to get there. After I got it all together, I started to pore over it for any tell tale signs that would help me find the wallet.
I went through every inch of the dump looking for the digital trail that would lead me to the wallet.
All I could think about was that I wanted to find the wallet, but where. I couldn’t find it so I just deleted the rest of the files and went back to my computer.
Well, it didn’t take long for the trail to reappear. But this time it was much shorter and more precise. It led directly to a link to the wallet and a bunch of other files. I opened them up and then I located the final digital trail that ended with the actual wallet.
Holy cow. That was the easiest of all the finds I ever had. It took me a total of eight tries before I got the wallet. But when I found out that I still got the money, I felt like a fool.
This is actually a common scenario. Many people have lost track of their digital trail and have spent money that they shouldn’t have on things that aren’t actually there.
When you find those few scattered files in the trash, you assume that they have gone away forever and never will. But then you dig even deeper and find out that they have actually been sitting around for years.
There are a few different ways to find your lost digital trail. You can go through every trash can in your city, hope that you miss one, and hope that you’re lucky enough not to end up paying for a full trash can in the process. The best way though is to just use one of the services that help you keep an everlasting digital trail of all of the files you delete, uploads, and downloads that happen on your computer.