Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has a cautionary tale for people hoping to strike it rich off bitcoin.
During an appearance at the Economic Times global business summit, Woz admitted that he had been scammed out of several bitcoin worth about $70,000 earlier this year by falling for a common fraud tactic that can happen to any bitcoin buyer.
Woz says he bought his bitcoin back when they were worth just $700, compared to $10572.57 per coin today. He says he was attracted to the currency because he was hoping he could someday travel and not use credit cards.
Bitcoin’s popularity and valuation rose rapidly the last six months. The cryptocurrency’s value hit a high of $17,900 in mid-December before crashing to just $6,200 at the beginning of February.
“Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered,” Woz said at the summit. “That doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud though. I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud. Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they canceled the credit card payment. It was that easy!.”
Making matters worse, the purchase was made with a stolen credit card number so Woz had no recourse to get his bitcoin back. Not wanting to watch the price every day was cited as Woz’s top reason for selling the cryptocurrency. He did keep one coin, but he says he doesn’t view it as an investment but more as an experiment.