Kerem Albayrak, a resident of Istanbul, Turkey, claims he lost access to $170,000 in digital currency as he did not properly back up his recovery phrase to his cryptocurrency wallet.

In a Reddit post, Albayrak explained in detail what happened. He first noted that he bought an iMac for his new office and that he had created a new blockchain wallet so that he could transfer his funds from an offline wallet (which he said was “scaring” him because it seemed to have technical issues).

After setting up his new wallet, Albayrak said he went on a vacation and that when he came back, many people started telling him that his iMac was too big and took up a lot of space. So, the Turkish citizen took the computer back to the store from where he had bought it. When he asked if he could exchange it for a MacBook (recommended by his colleagues), the store represenative said they don’t do exchanges and he’d have to return the iMac first.

Improper Wallet Backup

The store employee also reportedly told him there were only 4 hours left for him to return it as the company’s 15-day return policy was about to expire. Albayrak said that he then rushed home to pack up his iMac and quickly returned it to the store, without properly checking and backing up the password and SEED to his wallet.

As explained by Albayrak: 

My wallet was newly transferred onto a Blockchain wallet created on the iMac after I had an incident with an offline wallet and got scared. I used [an] auto generate password by Apple with no iCloud to backup the keychain. When creating [the password], I took a screenshot on the iMac of the recovery phrase which is also now gone.

Formatted Hard Drive

After returning the iMac and going home, the businessman realized at night he had just returned the computer without transferring the screenshot of his generated password to a device or email which he could still access. He then called Apple to see if someone could help him.

Albayrak also said he went to back to the store (where he had returned the iMac) 2 hours before it opened to hopefully catch the delivery van, which usually takes the products back to China where they are manufactured. However, after not being able to track down the delivery van, Albayrak entered the store and asked the manager if his computer was still there.

The manager said it was still at the store, but as part of standard return policy procedures, the iMac’s hard drive had been formatted, meaning that Albayrak’s recovery phrase and password were gone.

Importance Of Properly Backing Up Wallets

Expressing his frustration at what happened while also reminding people that it’s very important to properly backup their wallets, the Istanbul resident wrote:

It’s not a joke. You don’t realize sh*t happens until it happens don’t be that guy in my position. Please copy your backup codes and secure your wallet … it’s not a good feeling. It’s not even about losing 170K … it’s about losing a wallet with that much money in BTC. It’s there but you cannot use it. When I start seeing the price go up is when it’s going to piss me off.

Notably, Albayrak has offered a 40% reward to the person that can help him find a way or “gives [him] an idea” as to how he can go about “restoring [his] wallet.”