Man forgets password to access $317m
A desperate computer programmer has just two guesses left to figure out a password which is worth almost $317 million.
Stefan Thomas is trying to remember the code to a small, encrypted hard drive, known as an IronKey, to access 7002 bitcoin - which as of Thursday were worth around $48,500 each.
But he lost the piece of paper he wrote his password on. The device allows for 10 attempts - and he's already tried eight times.
If he doesn't get it right in the next two attempts, it will be permanently encrypted and the fortune lost forever.
German-born Mr Thomas was given the bitcoin in 2011 as a reward for making an animation.
But the price of the cryptocurrency has since soared - with a rise of 720 per cent since March 2020 alone.
Speaking about his lockout, Mr Thomas, who lives in San Francisco, US, said: "I would just lay in bed and think about it.
"Then I'd go to the computer with some new strategy and it wouldn't work and I'd be desperate again."
Many others have struggled to cash in on cryptocurrencies after forgetting their passwords.
Wallet Recovery Services, which helps find lost digital keys, said it gets 70 requests a day.
And LA entrepreneur Brad Yasar says he has hundreds of millions of dollars of bitcoin trapped in computers as he has lost the passwords.
Mr Thomas - who made another fortune on a rival currency called Ripple - plans to put his IronKey into a secure facility until he or others find a way of cracking it.
He added: "It's for my own sanity."
This article originally appeared on the The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Man forgets password to access $317m