After losing the piece of paper on which he wrote his password, German-born programmer, Stefan Thomas, is left with only two attempts left to recover his Bitcoin, worth $250 million.
The Search for the Bitcoin Password
“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.“
Stefan stored his Bitcoin in an encrypted hard drive known as an Ironkey. He initially had 10 attempts to access the Bitcoin on the Ironkey. Now, with 8 attempts used up, Stefan only has 2 chances left to open the Ironkey. After 10 failed attempts, the password will be encrypted, making the wallet impossible to access.
In 2011, Stefan was given 7,002 Bitcoins while living in Switzerland. In return for making the famous animated video entitled “What is Bitcoin?” Stefan was given the Bitcoins by an early Bitcoiner.
Stefan is now put off cryptocurrencies. He told the New York Times: “The 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”
Some other people have faced similar bouts of luck as Stefan. Gabriel Abed, a 34 year old entrepreneur from Barbados, lost approximately 800 Bitcoin which is worth $25 million today. The Bitcoin was lost after a colleague formatted a laptop that contained the private keys to his wallet.
Before, it was hard to conceive that the Bitcion market cap could rise to $1 trillion. Now, it doesn’t seem so crazy. In one month alone the price added 50% as interest in the cryptocurrency spiked to unprecedented levels. Traders and investors are looking to the cryptocurrency to hedge against inflation and also make profits. One analyst believes that this is the beginning of a two-year run towards a $1 trillion Bitcoin market cap.