In 2013, A Student Earned 23 Bitcoin By Holding Up A Sign - It's Now Worth $1.4 Million

Image of Bitcoin physical gold coin being held by two fingers, against a football match background with a crowd.

Just as Bitcoin took off in late 2013, one student featured in an ESPN College GameDay crowd held up a sign with his Bitcoin address QR code.

When major outlets picked up the story, the student, known by their Reddit username u/BitcoinPitcher2, had received 23 BTC.

On December 3, 2013, one Bitcoin cost $1,078. Today, it is worth $60,896, with an all-time high of $68,789. This marks an increase of 5548%. What was once worth a pretty sizeable $24,000 is now worth $1.4m.

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So, What Happened?

After places like The Verge and Bleacher Report reported on the donations, it appears the student received more BTC. According to his transaction history, the student’s address received a total of 44.2 BTC - now worth a combined $2,679,601.

Of course, there’s no telling whether the student bought BTC themselves, or whether it all came through generous donations. Indeed, according to this transaction, the address re-sent itself 10.1 BTC in 2014.

Regardless, it is unlikely u/BitcoinPitcher2 is sitting on a cool $2.6m anymore. If they are, they have moved it to new addresses away from the world’s attention. One transaction in March 2014 saw their address send 10.8 BTC to a new address, worth $6,300 at the time. This Bitcoin, now worth $664,000, now sits dormant in this address.

Several Reddit comments suggest they considere donating Bitcoin to Sean’s Outpost, described as ‘the Bitcoin homeless outreach center’.

The original address has now been cleared out, holding just 0.001 BTC. It has been inactive since sending 0.035 BTC in August 2019.

As for their Reddit account, it is also no longer active. After asking for tax advice on their Bitcoin donations on December 2, 2013, the account has not been used since.

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[Image: Tejaswin Gundala/Andrew Gearhart]