The only thing standing between Stephan Thomas and his $ 245 million Bitcoin fortune is his password.
In the report published by the British newspaper “The Times”, writer Will Pavia said that Thomas, a programmer living in Silicon Valley, is struggling to remember his password. He has already made eight unsuccessful attempts to pass the password, and he has two final attempts. If he fails to enter the correct password, he will lose his ownership of the digital currency forever.
In fact, Thomas stored the keys in a digital wallet containing 7002 bitcoins on an IronKey hard drive, according to the New York Times. And in 2011, Thomas received bitcoins as a push to make an animated video explaining how the coin works. It is worth noting that Bitcoin’s prices fluctuated that year from a few dollars to 32 dollars. Currently, a single Bitcoin is valued at around $ 35,000.
The author mentioned that Thomas wrote the password for his Iron Key device on a piece of paper, but lost it. In fact, users are allowed to try to enter the correct password 10 times before locking down the device and encrypting its contents.
For his part, Thomas said that he tried to use his favorite passwords without being lucky. And he added, “I was lying on the bed, thinking of the correct password, then going to the computer to try to enter some new passwords. On the other hand, all my attempts failed, and I came back disappointed again.”
Lost passwords were a rolling feature of a coin released in 2010 with the purchase of pizza for 10,000 bitcoins. The currency was both anonymous and transparent, with transactions recorded in an open ledger. In addition, Bitcoin owners could access their virtual funds using a randomly generated cryptographic key, which could be 50 characters long.
In 2013, a Wells tech worker named James Howells dumped a hard drive containing a key for around 7,500 BTC where he ended up at the bottom of a Newport landfill. Later, Howells said that he offered the council 10 percent of his fortune if he was allowed to dig up the dump, which he considered somewhat of a treasury.
Howells told The New York Post in 2018, “No one else can get in there and take my hard drive. It’s like having $ 75 million in the bank, but you don’t have access to your bank account. “.
Given the aforementioned bitcoin value, Halles’ hard drive would be worth $ 260 million.
According to an analysis conducted in 2017, about a fifth of existing Bitcoin accounts were blocked due to users losing their passwords.