Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that has experienced the highest appreciation in recent times. It has been able to generate large amounts of money for many investors by growing more than 9,100% since 2015.
Many users have become millionaires with the bullish explosion of the most famous cryptocurrency in the world. However, some as many investors have lost the possibility of accessing that capital. Making it possible as bitcoin can benefit the unbanked. Why?
This is not the first case, but perhaps one of the most dramatic. Stefan Thomas is a US-based computer programmer who has 7,002 bitcoin in a digital wallet for which he does not remember the password. As if this were not enough, of the ten attempts that he has to enter that password, he has already burned eight without luck. If he misses the next two attempts, he could lose more than $ 200 million.
His story could be told as follows: Thomas made an explanatory video about the cryptocurrency that was paid precisely with 7,002 bitcoin that right now would be worth more than 220 million dollars. At that time its value barely moved between 1 and 10 dollars a unit.
Unconcerned about their value, Thomas left them in a digital wallet under a password written down on a piece of paper that of course he lost at the time. This password would allow you to unlock a small hard drive, known as IronKey, which contains the private keys of the aforementioned digital wallet with the bitcoins. If the ten attempts to enter the password are failed, the content could be encrypted forever. He has already failed 8 attempts and has not managed to unlock his wallet, which puts him two attempts to lose this millionaire.
Forgetting the password is the worst thing that can happen to an investor, finding out that he has made a lot of money investing in an asset and not knowing how to recover that money by forgetting the data and password. Thomas is not the first to whom this happens and it is that 20% of Bitcoins are lost in portfolios of investors who do not know what their keys are.
In this sense, between 30 and 50% of the Bitcoins in circulation may have been lost due to causes such as having forgotten the passwords of the wallets, which would entail a total of 2.56 million Bitcoins that are neither in circulation nor seem to they will be able to recover in no time.
But since everything has a solution, although these situations are catastrophic for some people, there will always be someone who can help us solve problems that arise in our day to day life and this is the case of a young man and his father, recognized as recovering cryptocurrencies, small business owners in New Hampshire.
Both entrepreneurs concluded that 14% of these lost bitcoins are potentially recoverable. Their job is to compile a list of possible passwords for each customer, and then they try to understand how their customers have created those passwords and thus help them remember what the correct combination is.
Carrying out this exhaustive work they have managed to unlock 35% of the 72 lost passwords that they have in their work history. Each time these cases become more alarming when you consider that there is more than USD 100,000 million stagnant by this problem.
Transactions with crypto assets are protected with passwords like those of a common and current bank account. The risk, however, is latent: the more secure a password is, the more difficult it is to remember. On the other hand, the less secure, the easier to hack, which represents another important risk since if you do not lose your money by not remembering the valuable password you can run the risk of your account being hacked, remember that this type of operation is extremely tempting for all those who have the business of hacking accounts to usurp identities and be able to obtain the BITCOINS in favor of the hackers.
The young programmer who owns the wallet whose password is an enigma and who is only two attempts to lose everything comments in an interview that the situation is a painful memory and that he hopes it will serve as an example so that others can learn from his mistakes.