A man who lost his Bitcoin password says he has just two guesses left before he is locked out of his account which is worth $240 million.
Stefan Thomas has lost the slip of paper with the information to unlock his 7,002 digital coins, which yesterday were worth $240 million.
The tech worker said he cannot remember the code to a small hard drive, known as an IronKey, to unlock his account.
German-born Mr. Thomas, who now lives in San Francisco, said if he doesn’t get the Bitcoin password within the next two tries, they are lost forever.
He told the newspaper how he had been the Bitcoin in 2011 in exchange for making an animation. The cryptos’ value has increased wildly since then.
The IronKey only gives users ten tries at a password to access their digital wallet before it locks them forever.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas told the NYT. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
He said he aims to put his IronKey in a secure facility until a better way is found to crack it.
Mr. Thomas among many other BTC investors who have found themselves ready to cash in but locked out of their accounts because they lost their bitcoin account password.
Those who invested in the cryptocurrency a decade ago when a single coin was worth a matter of dollars have found themselves sitting on a fortune.
Bitcoin has no central management investors can contact to ask for help.
Another Bitcoin investor, entrepreneur Brad Yasar, told the newspaper he still had several desktop computers containing thousands of Bitcoin he had ‘mined’ during the early days of the cryptocurrency.
However, he lost his bitcoin password years ago as well, and has subsequently hidden the computer hard drives in vaccumm-sealed bag.
“Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets,” he said.