Stefan Thomas is a computer scientist originally from Germany who lost the password for his IronKey hard drive that contains 7,002 bitcoins worth more than 269 million dollars, according to the listing on January 14. And now you only have two attempts to find out. In fact, he is not the only one who has run into a similar problem.
Thomas, who lives in the American city of San Francisco he lost the piece of paper where he wrote the password years ago. IronKey is programmed in such a way that it offers its users 10 attempts to guess the key before the contents of the disk are seized and encrypted forever, reports the US newspaper The New York Times.
Since then the computer scientist has unsuccessfully tried eight of his most used passwords and now you only have two attempts left to enter the correct one.
“I’d just lie in bed and think about it. Then I’d go to the computer with a new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I’d be desperate again,” the man recalled his unsuccessful efforts to access the disk.
Thomas you have stored your IronKey in a secure facility in case cryptographers find new ways to crack complex passwords. Keeping her away helps you try not to think about the problem.
“I got to a point where I said to myself: ‘leave it in the past, just for your own sanity'”, lament.
The price of bitcoin it has been extremely volatile in the last eight months. The world’s leading cryptocurrency allowed many investors to accumulate a great fortune in a short time after its value set a new all-time high exceeding $ 41,000 per unit at the beginning of January 2021.
Thomas’s dilemma is an obvious reminder to investors that despite all the benefits investing in bitcoin may present certain risks. If traditional bank accounts and online wallets like PayPal allow easy password resets, with the higher cryptocurrency it is not so easy.
Currently of the 18.5 million existing bitcoins, about 20% appear to be in losing or stranded portfolios, according to data company Chainalysis. In total, its value could amount to about 140,000 million dollars.
The Wallet Recovery Services company that helps find lost passwords, receives 70 requests a day of people who want to get their wealth back. Their number increased three times more than the applications submitted a month ago.
Bitcoin investors who cannot access their wallets talk about endless days and nights of frustration. Many have invested in the cryptocurrency since the early days of its existence, when no one was confident that these virtual currencies would be worth a fortune.
“Over the years I’d say I’ve spent hundreds of hours trying to access these wallets. I don’t want to be reminded every day that what I have now is a part of what I could have and have lost,” lamented Brad Yasar, a Los Angeles businessman.
Yasar has several computers containing thousands of bitcoins that he mined from the first days of his birth. Now when these assets are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, you can’t access them because you lost your passwords many years ago. The only thing left for you now is to hide your hard drives in vacuum bags, out of sight.