The case that we leave here today is not unique, it is even considered as “a chance of a lifetime”, but it is part of the modern activity of humans. So, it all comes down to never forgetting a password, that can mean “watching the flight” more than 200 million euros. This was the case for a German programmer. The poor bastard with bad luck has exhausted eight out of ten possible attempts to gain access to a digital wallet where he has stored 7,000 bitcoins 10 years ago.
Have you ever imagined keeping 200 million euros in your hand and you don’t know the password?
200 million in bitcoin could be lost forever
A German programmer residing in San Francisco is two attempts to gain (or lose) a fortune of 200 million euros. Therefore, the rotten being of the rich or the usual poor is at a distance from the writing of a password. The problem is that man does not remember the magical combination of characters.
Stephan Thomas has 7,002 Bitcoins on a hard drive and has already wrongly tried eight passwords to access their content. So, if he loses the last two attempts left, he will lose his money forever.
According to the story told to the American newspaper The New York Times, the German engineer received 7,002 bitcoins ten years ago to make an explanatory video about how cryptocurrency works. Therefore, each bitcoin was worth between two and six dollars. This Wednesday, its price exceeded $ 34,000 (almost 28,000 euros).
Without much enthusiasm, the computer guru kept the bitcoins in a digital wallet and placed the keys to unlock them on an external hard drive called IronKey. It is an encryption system that uses a penUSB with software that encrypted the password to access the content. Such a system allows the user 10 attempts to unlock it before being encrypted forever.
Thomas wrote the combination of characters on the hard disk on a piece of paper and forgot about it. Ten years later, with bitcoin turned into digital gold, he can’t find the happy paper.
Password: Of the 10 attempts, 8 have already been burned
The man was immensely excited first. However, with each failed password, his soul evaporated and stress took over. After reaching 8 failed passwords, the man declared his despair to the newspaper The New York Times.
I was lying in bed thinking about it. Then I went to the computer with some new strategy, which didn’t work, and I was desperate again.
The computer engineer revealed to the newspaper.
According to the Times, Thomas is not alone. The very nature of cryptocurrency means that there are many forgotten bitcoins out there in digital wallets, which users do not remember the password for and have to limit themselves to seeing how the digital currency goes up (most of the time) and decreases (at least) trading in your volatile career.
As we have seen, only a week ago the currency was over $ 40,600 and today it is barely 34,000. However, the difference for the 10,000 who were worth at the beginning of the pandemic that devastated the economy of almost the whole world is abysmal.
But are there a lot of bitcoin lost?
The responsible for the bitcoin service Chainalysis estimates that of the 18.5 million bitcoins extracted, about 20%, which today are worth 140 billion dollars, may be lost or in forgotten digital wallets.
Wallet Recovery Services, which is dedicated to helping customers find their passwords, said it currently receives about 70 help requests a day from people who want to access their digital economies. The New York Times tells the story of one of them, who devoted himself to mining bitcoins (a kind of computer treasure hunt) when the coin was created a decade ago. Of course, at that time there were no high hopes or ideas about what this digital currency is worth today.
There are many “virtual riches” who keep several hard drives in sealed bags after years of unsuccessful attempts to open them.
Stephan Thomas has access to other portfolios, with a series of bitcoins, although he does not mention the value. However, he guarantees that he has placed the IronKey hard drive in a safe place, waiting for a cryptographer to find a way into it.