Safe and secure ... even the owner can't find his password. He has just two more attempts at entering the correct password.
A San Francisco programmer, Stefan Thomas, might be out $220 million. And he only has two guesses left to claim what is rightfully his. This money is tied up in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, and currently is so secure the rightful owner, Stefan, cannot access the money. He has since lost the paper on which he wrote down the digital keys required.
Previously reported by The New York Times, Stefan liked the idea of Bitcoin because it wasn't controlled by any company or country. He was given 7,002 Bitcoin back in 2011 for creating an animated video, “What is Bitcoin?” to help others understand this new technology.
Bitcoin, while volatile, has experienced explosive growth over the last several years. The original 7,002 Bitcoin is now worth $220 million. But Stefan cannot recall the codes he needs to access the funds.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas said. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
Stefan is not alone. The total amount of Bitcoin in existence is around 18.5 million Bitcoin. And 20 percent of that amount (equivalent to around $140 billion) is suspected to be in lost or abandoned accounts (Chainalysis, Wallet Recovery Services).
Unlike commercial banks such as Chase or Wells Fargo (or even an online payment system like PayPal), Bitcoin is not structured with a support system or regulatory leadership. That is what draws so many to using Bitcoin ... the lack of control by any one company or country. Though, in this case, no control also means no help desk or customer support. Bitcoin does not store passwords. "The virtual currency’s creator, a shadowy figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto, has said Bitcoin’s central idea was to allow anyone in the world to open a digital bank account and hold the money in a way that no government could prevent or regulate."
Have you ever forgotten a password that resulted in losing something? What do you think about this man possibly losing $220 million? Tell us in the comments below.