An American man from San Francisco has two password guesses left before he loses access to his $236 million in Bitcoin.
Forgetting your digital password has to be one of the most frustrating things ever – I mean, that’s what the ‘remember password’ click is all about – but it’s only so long until you’re asked to type it in manually, so long that you’ve forgotten it…
One man who can tell you exactly how this feels and more is Stefan Thomas, a German programmer who’s desperately trying to get his Bitcoin back through his IronKey, a small hard drive with the private keys to his digital wallet containing over 7,000 Bitcoin. With the currency recently reaching an all-time high of 20,000 dollars, this means that Thomas’ Bitcoin equates to about 236 MILLION dollars.
The only problem is, IronKey offers super strong protection for its contents, so you only have 10 guesses, otherwise, everything is encrypted on it forever. Now, like any sane person, Thomas did write it down on a piece of paper – but he lost it.
This isn’t exactly new though, apparently, according to cryptocurrency data firm Chainanalysis, around 20& of the world’s 18.5 million Bitcoin (worth 140 billion dollars) cannot be accessed due to being trapped in a lost digital wallet. In fact, another firm, Wallet Recovery Services, is now receiving over 70 requests a day from people in similar situations.
An entrepreneur, Brad Yasar, who lost access to thousands of Bitcoin shared, ‘Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets… I don’t want to be reminded every day that what I have now is a fraction of what I could have that I lost.’
Plus, unlike PayPal, Bitcoin does not allow you to recover your password. Following the experience, Stefan shared, ‘This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way… do you make your own shoes? The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do.’
Personally, if I had millions in my Bitcoin, I’d definitely write my password down on more than one piece of paper, all of which I’d know the whereabouts of…