There’s plenty of stories out there of missed opportunities. We all remember the story of how The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records, only to be told by Dick Rowe that “guitar groups are on the way out”. However if there’s anyone out there who regrets their decisions more, it would probably have to be Lily Allen, whose tale of lost revenue is enough to make your eyes water.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen the rise of the cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. A decentralised digital currency, it’s been blowing up in popularity in recent years, with its value skyrocketing immensely in just the last few months alone. Countless stories have surfaced about how folks have thrown away hard drives containing Bitcoin data that they deemed to be ‘worthless’, only to later learn that was a decision that cost them millions. But nothing compares to Lily Allen’s brush with the cryptocurrency.
Some time ago, Lily Allen took to Twitter to lament the fact that she was once offered a sum of bitcoins for a performance on the virtual website Second Life, only to turn it down. “About 5 years ago someone asked me to stream a gig live on second life for hundreds of thousNds of bitcoins, “as if” I said.”
— Mardy B (@lilyallen) January 5, 2014
Five years ago from the time of Lilly Allen’s Tweet would have been around January 2009, which was the time when Bitcoin was first launched publicly. Back then, the fee that she would have received for her performance would have been equal to only a couple of hundred dollars.
Considering that bitcoins were only trading for mere cents at the time, that would have been an absolute steal for the fan behind the offer. However, by the time of Lily Allen’s Tweet, 200,000 BTC was calculated by The Guardian to have been worth £118 million – 20 times her then-current worth. While that’s pretty rough, the news sadly gets even worse for the musician.
Since the time of Lily Allen’s Tweet, the value of Bitcoin has continued to rise exponentially. At the time of writing 1 BTC will net you $5,482 AUD. We think you can already see where this is going, because if you were to calculate the value of 200,000 BTC at today’s value, it’s equal $1,096,572,143 AUD. Just to clarify, that’s just under 1.1 billion dollars.
Keep in mind, this is taking Lily Allen’s “hundreds of thousands of bitcoins” at its most basic level of 200,000 BTC. Only Lily Allen knows just how many hundreds of thousands of bitcoins (and therefore how many billions of dollars) she turned down. Needless to say though, we don’t think we’d be as composed as her if we were to have discovered we turned down a payday like that.
Check out Lily Allen’s classic track ‘Smile’ below – something we’re amazed she’s still able to do after turning down so much money.