He forgets the password to access his Bitcoins … and loses 200 million euros

Like any investment, one of the risks when investing in a cryptocurrency is seeing your capital go up in smoke. The British Financial Conduct Authority reminded us a few days ago : “If consumers invest in these types of products, they must be prepared to waste all of their money.If the risk is real, Stephan Thomas, a German programmer, is faced with a completely different problem: the man forgot the password that would allow him to access 7002 bitcoins … nearly 200 million euros!

Stefan Thomas’ story begins about ten years ago. He then receives 7,002 bitcoins for making a video on how cryptocurrencies work. At the time, the value of a bitcoin was barely $ 5. But since the bitcoin boom of the past few years, records have been linked. Today, Bitcoin’s price now reaches $ 36,000.

The problem is that the programmer can no longer recover his Bitcoins today. To keep them in a safe place, he had invested in a “digital wallet”, a kind of small hard drive that can store various cryptocurrencies securely. Access to the wallet is protected by a password: after 10 unsuccessful attempts, the hard disk encrypts the data and the data is therefore lost forever. Written on a sheet of paper, the password has since not been found. A puzzle for Stefan Thomas who has since tried several of his most used passwords in vain.

I lay in my bed and I thought about it“the programmer told New York Times. “Then I would go to the computer with a new strategy, and it didn’t work, and I was desperate again “. He only has two chances left to enter the correct password. After that, the data will be lost forever and with it his potential fortune.

A common case

According to the crypto-data company Chainalysis, around 20% of existing bitcoins are in lost or blocked wallets. This represents almost $ 140 billion.

READ  Is now a good time to examine Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR)?

Following his mishap, Stefan Thomas assured that he no longer wanted to use cryptocurrencies. “This whole idea of ​​being your own bank, let me put it this way: do you make your own shoes? ” he told the New York Times. “The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all these things that banks do“.

I hope others can learn from my mistakes. Regularly test your backups to make sure they are still working. An ounce of forethought could have avoided a decade of regrets“, he declared on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.