The US only has two more password recovery attempts to recover his key and access the $ 236 million in Bitcoin.
With the recent hikes in the price of Bitcoin, an unfortunate phenomenon is emerging: people who have accumulated large fortunes in cryptocurrencies are realizing that they have long since lost the keys to their encrypted digital wallets.
Take Stefan Thomas, a programmer in San Francisco, who told the The New York Times who has 7,002 Bitcoins saved – currently worth about $ 236 million, almost a quarter of a billion dollars – but that he has no idea how to access them and only has two more key attempts before being locked out forever .
Even leaving aside the long-term prospects for cryptocurrencies, the main message of these horror stories is that taking digital finance into your own hands is a big risk if you can’t manage your passwords.
Crypto Startups try to solve problem
The problem of buying or mining cryptocurrencies and then forgetting how to access it is so widespread that there is an entire emerging industry for cybersecurity experts who can help aspiring wealthy people to actually access their fortunes after forgetting their passwords.
“Even sophisticated investors have been completely unable to do any kind of private key management,” Diogo Monica, co-founder of crypto security startup Anchorage, told NYT.
To have or not to have a bank?
For Thomas and others in a similar situation, having millions of dollars out of reach has spoiled all decentralized currency idealization like Bitcoin, according to the NYT.
“This whole idea of being your own bank – let me put it this way,‘ Do you make your own shoes? ’” Thomas told the NYT. “The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all the things that banks do.”