Investor Loses Crypto, Blames AT&T


The world of cryptocurrency has fallen from most of the headlines, but there are still several people out there with millions at stake. A US investor & entrepreneur is suing AT&T, his internet service provider, over a theft of his cryptocurrency. Michael Terpin is seeking $224M, the value of his crypto portfolio at the time. The lawsuit was filed in a Los Angeles court room and claims “digital identity theft” in an attempt to hold someone (or something) accountable for the loss of his tokens. Today, the cryptocurrency market cap is over $200B, led by main coins such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and Stellar.

Michael Terpin is a seasoned crypto investor, who co-founded a digital currency hedge fund. Apparently, he lost 3 million tokens to the tune of $24m after trouble with a SIM card. These are the internal memory storage systems in cell phones that contain private information and user data. SIM cards, or subscriber identifier module, are able to be removed from cell phones and place into new devices. The issue here is that Terpin misplaced his SIM card and it was able to be accessed by someone else. With no where else to turn, Terpin points to his internet service provider, At&T, and is seeking the $24m lost, plus an additional $200M in damages.

Investing in cryptocurrency is a big risk, and this is a great example of why. Much like stocks, the value of different tokens can rise and fall constantly. Unlike Wall Street, there are no hourly limitations on the values of crypto; there are no regulations here. For example, you can buy cyrpto tokens valued at $1,000 before going to bed, and by the time you wake up, it could be worth $10 or $2,000. The volatility makes for a questionable investment, but the lack of government regulation means that a misplaced SIM card or error in transfer can result in massive losses immediately. Doubtful that AT&T will be cutting a check to Michael Terpin.