A San Francisco based computer programmer, Stefan Thomas, has just two more chances to unlock his mammoth bitcion wallet after forgetting the password.
Man on verge of losing £175 million stashed in his bitcoin wallet: Thomas was gifted the coins ten years ago in payment for making a video explaining how the new cryptocurrency worked. The 7,002 bitcoins that he received in payment were only worth between $2-$6 dollars at the time and he put them away and forgot all about them. However today each bitcoin is worth a staggering $34,000 each but Thomas just cannot remember the password he used all those years ago having already entered eight incorrect passwords with just two chances left before his hard drive locks the wallet forever as it encrypts itself along with his private keys to access the money.
Thomas said he has tried his eight most frequently used passwords to access his IronKey hard drive, but all turned out to be wrong. The device auto-encrypts all contents after the 10th inaccurate guess. He told the New York Times in an interview “I would just lay in bed and think about it. Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
The devastating experience has understandably put him off using cryptocurrencies in the future with him saying “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.” Upon hearing of Thomas’ situation, Alex Stamos, who is a internet security password said that he could help for a small fee.
Taking to Twitter Stamos said “Um, for $220m in locked-up bitcoin, you don’t make 10 password guesses but take it to professionals to buy 20 IronKeys and spend six months finding a side-channel or uncapping. I’ll make it happen for 10%. Call me.” Data firm for cryptocurrency, Chainalysis, said that it is estimated around 20% of the current 18.5 million bitcoins are either lost or stranded in inaccessible wallets
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