Handling your keys is always a risk, a risk of losing every single coin without return. This fear increased in a very intense way during the final days of 2021.
A German programmer that lives in San Francisco forgot the password that unlocks the hard drive that contains the private keys of his wallet. He already tried eight of his 10 passwords, and there only remain two. This is a situation that puts in a massive danger to his current fortune.
The wallet contains 7,002 Bitcoin (BTC), those holdings would be worth $ 268 million, and the owner is risking a huge amount of money.
In a report by New York Times on January 12, Stefan Thomas, the unfortunate owner of $268 million in bitcoins used a hard drive that receives the name of IronKey, but lost the paper on which he wrote the device password “years ago.” If Thomas fails to remember the right password after 10 unsuccessful attempts, the drive then will encrypt its contents forever. He only has two more chances to access the hard drive.
Trying to Gain Access to Forever-Blocked Wallets
The so-called “stranded” wallets are an unbearable danger for bitcoin. A titanic amount of bitcoins usually get lost thanks to these encrypting processes, according to data from Chainalysis.
Thomas is not alone in his self-declared despair: A businessman, Brad Yasar, told the Times he has spent hundreds of hours” trying to gain access into forever-blocked wallets.
There is a company that offers recovery services, its name is Wallet Recovery Services, and its main focus is on the recovery of lost digital keys. The company is very famous in the crypto-world. A lot of requests from clients seeking help land on its platform daily. Thomas says that skepticism has grown on him since this unfortunate event. He says that leaving users with that degree of control is unfortunate and dangerous; they simply can lose it all in a blink of an eye.
The Main Risk: Users Entrusting their Keys to Third-Party Custodians
“This whole idea of being your bank let me put it this way: do you make your shoes? The reason we have banks is so we don’t have to deal with all the things that banks do “. Says a desperate Stefan Thomas.
Thomas nonetheless held on to enough Bitcoin over the years to create a new fortune. He’s reportedly so wealthy that he finds it nearly impossible to know what he could do with such an amount of money and wealth. There are similar stories all around the globe. There is Thomas that became skeptical about being his bank but many other businessmen, that despite having lost lots of BTC in the past, still claim that the imminent risk of being their bank comes with the reward of being able to freely access their finances.
By: Jenson Nuñez