Crypto’s Indiana Jones? Coinbase exec helps recover $322K of once-lost crypto

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It’s not every day that one suddenly becomes $322,000 richer — but for one lucky crypto investor, this is exactly what happened in the late hours of July 5.

In a recent Twitter thread, Conor Grogan, the head of product at Coinbase, explained how he uncovered hundreds of thousands worth of dormant crypto and even managed to contact its unaware owner.

When the Ethereum blockchain forked in 2016, Ethereum Classic (ETC) was created. Any investor who held the now-standard Ether (ETH) on-chain was airdropped an identical amount of ETC. Many never touched these new funds, said Grogan.

“Forgetting you have funds on chain (or not keeping track of airdrops) is common,” Grogan said, sharing how he’d recovered six-figure amounts for investors in the past. In a subsequent screenshot, Grogan said he once notified a Twitter user of 23 ETH that had been sitting untouched.

Ledger Nano X - The secure hardware wallet
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Grogan informed a Twitter user that he’d discovered 23 ETH for them. Source: Twitter

Tracking down these wallets is no small task. To start, Grogan said he trawled through the “ETC rich list,” searching for accounts that had never touched their ETC. After tracking down roughly 20 addresses with more than $250,000 worth of ETC, he combed through each, looking for ways to get in touch.

Grogan said he ran into many “dead ends” with most of the wallets before finally stumbling upon an address with the prefix “0x475.“ Interestingly, the wallet contained a cryptocurrency called eosDAC (EOSDAC), which was airdropped to Ethereum holders in 2018.

Leveraging the new information, Grogan said the airdrop amount and snapshot date allowed him to connect with the holder’s EOS wallet.

“As it turns out, this EOS wallet has quite the history!” Grogan said. 

This allowed Grogan to finally track down the legal name associated with the 0x475 ETH address — after poring over legal documents. 

In an unusually heartwarming conclusion, Grogan managed to get in touch with the owner and inform them of their long-lost riches.

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The wallet owner’s response to Grogan — unaware the funds had ever existed. Source: Twitter

“Hopefully I made his day,” said Grogan.

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