Stefan Thomas has simply two possibilities left to get his palms on his $240m (£175m) fortune.
Thomas is a San Francisco-based pc programmer, and a decade in the past he was given 7,002 bitcoins as a reward for making a video explaining how the cryptocurrency works.
At the time he was paid, they had been price $2-$6 every. He stashed them away in his “digital wallet” and forgot about them.
Now every bitcoin is price $34,000, and the contents of his pockets are valued at $240m. But Thomas has forgotten the password that can unlock his fortune.
German-born Thomas has already entered the fallacious password eight instances, and if he guesses fallacious two extra instances his exhausting drive, which accommodates his non-public keys to the bitcoin, will likely be encrypted – and he’ll by no means see the cash.
The video that Stefan Thomas made in alternate for 7,002 bitcoins, which at the moment are price about $240m.
The value of bitcoin hit more than $40,000 final week, having doubled in lower than a month. It has since fallen again however it’s nonetheless up by greater than 700% for the reason that pandemic was first declared in March final yr, rising from about $5,000.
Thomas mentioned he has tried his eight most continuously used passwords to entry his IronKey exhausting drive, however all turned out to be fallacious. The machine auto-encrypts all contents after the tenth inaccurate guess.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Thomas advised the New York Times. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
Thomas mentioned the expertise has understandably put him off cryptocurrencies. “This whole idea of being your own bank – let me put it this way, do you make your own shoes?” he mentioned.