A German programmer is sitting on a treasure chest that he knows is there and yet cannot open and savor it. Why? Because he has lost its key! It may sound funny, but a computer programmer named Stefan Thomas is having his worst nightmare come true. Amid the bitcoin boom, he had invested and bought 7,002 bitcoins which are saved and safely stored in his wallet. However, Thomas has forgotten the password of his IronKey hard drive which holds the private key to his wallet. Stefan now has only two attempts left to correctly guess the password else his treasure will remain beyond his grasp for eternity.
Why Bitcoins are Being Cashed
The Bitcoin price which was at $20,000 per coin has soared to a record high of $36,000 in a months’ time. This skyrocketing is not new because if the price has soared by 92% in the last one month, overall, it has boomed by 340% in a year. This all-time high has pepped the bitcoin owners to sell their bitcoins and savor their riches. However, a New York Times report shows that 20% of the cryptocurrency owners have either lost their passwords or have their wallets stranded. This means they now own a fortune but still cannot enjoy the riches.
The Last Two Chances to Guess the Password
According to the NYT report, Thomas has stored the private key to his wallet in a small IronKey hard drive. This piece of hardware is protected by a password which allows the user to make only 10 possible attempts at getting the password right. However, if the user fails to enter the correct password on the 10th attempt then it seizes and encrypts the contents in the drive forever. Thomas has already used eight of his 10 attempts formulating his most utilized passwords, but with zero success.
A dejected Thomas says,
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.
The rise in the number of cases though has prompted a new booming business solution altogether, that of Bitcoin Wallet Recovery Services. But will they really be able to duplicate the key to these treasure chests? Only time will tell.