Imagine you run an illegal business in which people pay for your marijuana with bitcoin and other forms of crypto. Where would you hide all that money? Where would you put it?
Marijuana and Bitcoin Don’t Always Go Together
Clifton Collins in Ireland recently found himself facing this dilemma. Collins garnered as much as 55 million pounds in bitcoin units from an illegal cannabis business he had been running for as long as 15 years. All these bitcoins came with specific codes that would allow him to access the digital stash in the future.
The problem is he didn’t know where to hide the codes. He eventually decided on a place that he thought nobody would think to look – within a fishing rod. He printed all the codes on a small piece of paper and placed that paper in the aluminum cap of a fishing rod, which he kept hidden inside his rented house. He later tried to put the rod out of his mind until the codes were necessary.
However, an unfortunate thing happened to Collins not too long ago. He was arrested on account of police finding approximately 2,000 pounds worth of marijuana in his vehicle. He was later sentenced to serve five years in prison, and thus his house was cleared out by his landlord and all his possessions were taken to the trash… This includes his fishing rod.
Without the codes, the bitcoins cannot be accessed, which means close to $100 million of BTC is gone forever.
Workers at the dump in which Collins’ items were taken claim that they did see fishing gear arrive on the lot. Most of the items taken to the dump are eventually shipped off to either Germany or China to be incinerated and disposed of forever. Collins, at first, was upset by the loss. Now, he says he’s come to terms with it, claiming it to be punishment for “his own stupidity.”
To this day, the fishing rod containing the codes has never been found. When the rod went up in flames, the bitcoin codes went with it, and a whole lot of digital money has been lost to space and time.
It’s All Disappeared
While Collins is no doubt less rich from the incident, Ireland is likely the biggest loser, considering that’s a lot of money that would have potentially been confiscated once Collins was arrested as it was garnered from criminal activity. The authorities did get their hands on over $100,000 in cash and about 1.5 million pounds in bitcoin, but these sums don’t even come close to what Ireland could have had if it hadn’t been so hasty in burning everything in sight.
At 49 years of age, Collins originally worked as an award-winning beekeeper and security guard before turning to marijuana full-time.