Smelling the right thing, many people bought bitcoin several years ago. An idea to say the least ingenious since the price of this cryptocurrency recently exceeded 40,000 dollars. But still, it is necessary to remember the password to recover their millions.
According to the company Chainalysis, nearly 20% of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin, or the equivalent of $ 140 billion, is currently blocked. And for a good reason! Some of their owners would have had a blackout. Among them: Stephan Thomas.
Bitcoins: he forgets his password to access his fortune
Multimillionaire… or almost! Several people have bought bitcoins in recent years. This is very smart since the value of bitcoin has been steadily increasing.
However! Many of these people cannot access their millions. The reason? Quite simply because they forgot their hard drive password, where the bitcoins are stored.
As is Stephan Thomas’s case, who has owned since 2011 the colossal sum of 7,002 bitcoins, or the equivalent of $ 220 million, about 183 million euros. This German programmer based in San Francisco is therefore facing a big problem as he has forgotten his password to access his bitcoins.
Bitcoins: Stephen Thomas ruined by the blackout
Indeed, Stephan Thomas, conscientious, chose to protect his bitcoins on an IronKey hard drive. However, he can only access it by entering the correct password. The combination to enter was written on a piece of paper, which has now disappeared. And he’s unable to remember the right characters to pocket his millions.
And the worst is not there: he is only allowed ten tries. His hard drive will self-destruct after ten failures, erasing all the data it contains, including his enormous fortune. Today, he is on his eighth attempt.
“A painful memory.
He explains, “All I can do is lie down on my bed thinking. Then, I put myself in front of my computer with a new strategy… which does not work and plunges me again into despair ”.
Now he continues to express his disappointment on Twitter: “A painful memory. I hope others can learn from my mistakes. Test your backups regularly to make sure they still work. An ounce of forethought could have saved me a decade of regret. Having said that, I will do what I have always done, which is focus on building things. ”
Stephan Thomas: a chance to recover his bitcoins?
However, former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos offered to help Stephan Thomas, paying a commission of 10% of the total amount. But will he really manage to find a solution? In any case, the man now hopes that hackers or crypto specialists will one day help him crack his hard drive.
Stephan Thomas privé de ses bitcoins : un cas isolé ?
However, Stephan Thomas can be reassured! He is far from the only one in this situation. Many other people have lost their bitcoins to forgotten passwords as well. Indeed, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles has spent “hundreds of hours” trying to access his online wallet, which contains millions of dollars in bitcoins.
Another person formatted a computer that held the keys to a Bitcoin wallet, bought ten years ago, and lost 800 bitcoins, or $ 25 million. We can easily imagine the frustration and cold sweat of these people.
140 billion dollars inaccessible.
Moreover, according to the company Chainalysis, which specializes in statistics around cryptocurrencies, 20% of bitcoins, or the equivalent of 140 billion dollars, would no longer be accessible to their owners.
So, Stephan Thomas blurted it out, “I got to a point where I was like, ‘Leave this story in the past, for the sake of your sanity.” But not sure whether he manages to fall asleep easily every night.