Is there any chance the bitcoin I bought from TradeHill still exist somewhere?

In late 2011 I was curious about bitcoin and how it worked, so I opened an account with TradeHill and bought $100 worth. I have forgotten about it until now and wonder if I still have access to the 33 bitcoins.

If you do, they seem to be trading at 2200 USD or thereabouts, so you have a fair little windfall.

The BitCoins still exist, the problem is whether you can access them anymore.

From a quick Google, it looks like TradeHill has ceased operating as of 2012. But there’s still hope.

At the time you created your BitCoin account, you created a wallet. If you still have the wallet code (public address and private key), you can still log in to a BitCoin client and access your coins. You should check your old backups to see if you can dig it out.

If not, are those Bitcoins gone forever? Like a gold coin tossed overboard, or into a volcano?

Or do they await some late 21st-century quantum-hypercomputer, powerful enough to reverse-engineer the then-antiquated private key?

It’s similar to a forgotten savings account at a bank.

They managed to wipe out the balance with fees. I was not pleased when I finally checked on the account years later

I foolishly thought a bank was a secure place to keep money. That’s only true for large balances that are exempt from bank service fees.

Do bit coin accounts have similar service fees that accumulate?

If you had a quantum mega ultra computer that could recover your lost Bitcoins, they could recover everyone else’s Bitcoins.

If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they’re gone.

If you actually had the wallet yourself, then the coins were not “at TradeHill”. They were on your computer, and in any other location you chose to back them up to (including, possibly, printed out on a piece of paper).

But a lot of folks used these trading sites like banks, which defeats the whole point of Bitcoin (in much the same way that “buying gold” but never having it delivered defeats the point). If that’s the case, you never had bitcoins at all: Some other company had bitcoins, and you had a promise from them (that they’ve now clearly broken) that they would look after them for you.

The founders/owners may have the money for you ?? Tradehill didn’t go bankrupt, so they might not have protection from the debt owing to you.

The bank is not unsafe just because of the negligence of the client, in this case the negligence on your part.

There is an administrative cost in the maintenance of a bank account, the reporting, the documentation required. So under a certain level, a financial institution holding money needs to charge for these costs or they are losing money.

It is a service like any other.

If you put the actual cash in a safebox with some entityyou also pay fees, why would you think you get this for free with a bank?

The waiving of the fees over a certain level is on the internal estimation of what size of the account that the making of returns from the usage of the capital outweighs the cost of the processing and the administration inherent in the maintenance of the bank account.

What? The buying of physical gold and the off-site storage defeats no point - unless you are doing so from the strange american paranoid political point of view, but that is not the fundmaental reason to buy the gold assets.

If they are an entity that is ongoing yes. If they were liquidated and they were a limited liability entity, then no.

The only rational reason to buy gold is that you’re planning to make something from it (jewelry, a gilt statue, contacts for electrical components, whatever), and you need delivery for that, too. If you want a hedge in your portfolio against market fluctuations, you’re better off buying a diverse selection of stable, well-established stocks. If you want a hedge against societal collapse, you’re better off buying canned food and ammunition (and you still need delivery). If you want to speculate on changes in the price of gold, you’re better off playing Vegas blackjack, as the transaction fees are lower and you get free drinks served by pretty ladies.


No, that is not the only rational reason. Not by far.

A financial investor can have a number of purposes that do not need and in fact it is not advantegeous for them.

I am an actual bank financial economist, so I am not impressed by the simplistic truisms you are repeating.

For the naïve individual investor of the American paranoid right sort these are perhaps useful observations. They are not, however, truisms. If you wish to qualify that you meant your comment to be for the small retail investor, perhaps we can say may be often true, but your comment was an overstament and incorrect.

The trading in the gold assets as either a financial or a commodity asset for the specialist investor, it is one hundred percent reasonable and one hundred percent rational and indeed preferable. This may not be the naive The Dollar is Crashing politically motivated retail investor, but it is certainly a completely reasonable and rational approach and service that makes economic sense for a certain investor profile

The bitcoin speculator with the financial means, the exchanges are a potentially reasonable choice if an exchange is given the due diligence to give the reasonable confidence. There may not be any that meet a reasonable confidence, but the concept and the service of th is not either irrational

Moderator Note

Ramira, political jabs are not permitted in General Questions. No warning issued, but don’t do this again.

General Questions Moderator

I sorta agree in that I have seen in my role as a tax preparer people’s 1099s where they have tons of mutual funds and whatever, and one of them is holding gold.

However, the nature of commodities makes them poor long-term investments compared to stocks. Commodities do nothing while sitting in a warehouse somewhere as part of someone’s portfolio. Stock certificates are, instead, claims on the assets and earnings of a company that is actually doing something (hopefully) profitable. Debt instruments provide financing to others running businesses with fixed payouts instead of claims on the earnings. Options and currencies are all part of the global financial marketplace where we decide what the best ways to invest our resources are. Commodities sitting in a warehouse somewhere though? Not productive. So how can they possibly be a good investment? If you think the value of gold is going to go up, buy gold futures or gold mining stocks, not gold itself. The more people buy gold to simply hold on to it, the more useless mining activity takes place that adds no additional economic value.

I just bought some shares in a gold etf. :smack: Should I sell them back? I did not buy physical gold, not even the GLD shares everyone talks about — I got the Brand S shares since my broker waives his commission.

I have no opinion on whether gold’s price will rise or fall; I just wanted a hedge. Diversification in typical stocks is not a good hedge — stocks tend to be highly correlated; even foreign stock markets are rather correlated. Bond prices tend to correlate with stock prices, especially recently. There are probably much better “hedging” strategies than buying gold etf, but “diverse selection of (ordinary) stocks” is not one of them.

We’ll need a cite that blackjack offers lower transaction fees … especially if you over-indulge on the pretty ladies. :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope that you have got access to your TradeHill account, any update?

Assuming the OP bought the bitcoins and stored them in his own wallet, no, it’s nothing at all like a forgotten bank account. At least with a forgotten bank account, the bank itself still knows about it and could, say, levy fees on it, or try to contact you to let you know that it’s dormant, or hand over the money to a plaintiff who has garnished it. A bitcoin wallet whose only or last copy has been erased and overwritten is for all intents and purposes nonexistent. Neither you nor anyone else is getting those coins back again, no way, no how.

If, on the other hand, the OP didn’t keep the coins in his own wallet, but rather allowed TradeHill to hold them in trust, then yes, it might be similar to a forgotten bank account. Except in 2011 bitcoin exchanges weren’t (and today still largely aren’t) regulated, and many of them (even the bigger names) were operated by bona fide scammers and crooks, so using the legal system to get the coins back from a defunct exchange is pretty much a lost cause.

Isn’t the phrase “bona fide scammers and crooks” an oxymoron? It seems to me that the more accurate term would be “mala fide”.