A friend of mine was an avid crypto trader. He made decent returns too. He only traded on his iPhone, never a computer.
Until a few weeks ago when he dropped his phone at the club and the touchscreen broke. He got a new phone a few days later and tried restoring it from iCloud, but since he used a crypto wallet app he still needed the private key to access it.
You would think after trading crypto for 1.5 years he would have written down his private key and kept it somewhere secure, right? Nope. He didn’t know what a private key was, and didn’t remember if he wrote it down anywhere.
But not all hope was lost – he still had his old iPhone. Heck, the touchscreen was only partially broken. We can definitely get it to respond. I tell him to wait until I see him again and we’ll work on it together. He agrees.
A few days go by and I ask him if he’s ready to work on the broken iPhone to view his private key on the old crypto wallet app. He tells me not to worry about it because he gave it to Apple and they’ve already replaced the touchscreen. Now he just has to pick it up from the store.
Me: “….You realize they factory reset the iPhone when they replace a touchscreen, right?”
Him: “….What’s a factory reset?”
And that ladies and gentlemen is how my friend dropped his iPhone and lost $26,000.
TLDR; Friend dropped his iPhone and the touchscreen became glitchy, used a crypto wallet app but never wrote down the private key, then had the touchscreen replaced which factory reset the iPhone, clearing the user session on the old wallet app AKA the last chance he had to view his wallet private key. His $26,000 of crypto is gone forever.