There are hardly many great ways to lose $220 million, but this news story in the New York Times reveals a quite unfortunate one which is the loss of millions of dollars in bitcoin because of forgetting your digital wallet’s password. It is very important to be careful in your investment.
According to NYT’s Nathaniel Popper the 7.002 bitcoin of Stefan Thomas is locked in an IronKey hard drive for around $220 million. The problem is he can’t even remember the password, and because of IronKey’s strict security protocols, he is just two unsuccessful password attempts closer to losing them forever. There are ways to pay someone to crack the drive, but Thomas needs the money and effort to do it.
This is a dark comedy situation, and the story of Popper hits all the classics of cryptocurrency in order to justify it. The volatile nature of bitcoin’s value and the enigmatic creator of the currency are listed, but how common bitcoin loss is staggeringly clear in that post.
Thomas’s tragic story sets off two other individuals, but it is a surprisingly popular story. In Bitcoins 18.5 million currently available, approximately 20% are lost in inaccessible wallets (around $140 billion), Popper shares.
There have been other high-value wallets locked out in the past, with content ranging from $30,000 to $300,000, but Thomas’ story is a reminder of how persistent this issue is among bitcoin users and how expensive it has become. Bitcoin’s protected and decentralized existence is awesome when it comes into conflict with common human forgetfulness.
The whole story is written here and you can realize just how much bitcoin’s lust for damage continues to produce.