There are not many good ways to lose $ 220 million, but this New York Times the article highlights one extremely serious – losing millions of dollars in bitcoin because you forgot the password for your digital wallet.
Stefan Thomas’ 7,002 bitcoin (worth about $ 220 million) is locked away on an IronKey hard drive according to NOW‘s Nathaniel Popper. The problem is that he cannot remember the password and he is only two failed password attempts closer to losing them forever due to IronKey’s strict security protocols. There is an option to pay someone to crack the drive, but Thomas will need to have the time and money to make it happen.
Two other people are nominated in Thomas’ story of woe, but it’s a surprisingly common tale. Of the 18.5 million bitcoin currently in existence, about 20 percent (about $ 140 billion) is lost in inaccessible wallets, Popper writes.
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 problem is among bitcoin users and how expensive it has become. The secure and decentralized nature of Bitcoin is great – until it collides with simple human forgetfulness.
You can read the full story here and appreciate how much schadenfreude bitcoin continues to generate.