AFP

OSLO-A Norwegian man, who purchased $24 worth of bitcoins and then forgot about it for four years, was able to buy an apartment in central Oslo thanks to the massive appreciation of the virtual currency. In 2009, Kristoffer Koch was doing research on encryption and on a whim decided to invest a small sum in the recently created bitcoins - a means of payment over the Internet.

Koch, now 29 and working as an engineer, only remembered the investment in April of this year when he read an article about the soaring value of bitcoins. His 5,000 bitcoins were suddenly worth around $690,000. After spending a full day trying to remember his password, Koch cashed in 1.1 million kroner, by selling a fifth of his newly acquired fortune. After deducting 28 percent in taxes, the money was enough for the downpayment and restoration of a flat worth 2.6 million kroner in central Oslo, one of the world’s most expensive cities.