Lost password lock bitcoin millionaire out of fortune

Bitcoin Cryptocurrency
January 12, 2021 by 99pigs
196
Bitcoin owners are getting rich because cryptocurrencies have soared. But what happens when you can’t tap that wealth because you forgot the password to your digital wallet? Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has only two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million.
lost password bitcoins

The German programmer Stefan Thomas is in a somewhat precarious situation. He surely has Bitcoin worth 220 million dollars. The problem is that he does not remember his password for the digital wallet. In recent years, he has spent eight of his total ten attempts to log in to his hard drive where he keeps the key to his digital wallet.

“I used to lie in bed and think about it, then I went to the computer with a new tactic that would not work either and I became desperate again.”

Billions of bitcoin may have disappeared

But Stefan Thomas does not seem to be the only one with worries of this kind. According to the analysis firm Chainalysis, about 20 percent of all existing bitcoin may have disappeared or just been forgotten in digital wallets. That would correspond to bitcoin worth approximately 140 billion dollars.

The New York Times writes that it is a reminder of the unique technology behind the cryptocurrency. There is no company behind Bitcoin that can recover your key if you forgot it. There are certain companies that offer to store keys, which has not been proven completely safe in several cases.

Bitcoin Quick Info

  • Is bitcoin legal?
    Bitcoin is legal to use, hold, and trade and can be used on everything from travel to charitable donations. It’s accepted as payment by businesses including Microsoft and Expedia, and soon even Tesla. 
  • Is bitcoin a currency?
    It’s been used as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account—which are all properties of a currency. Meanwhile, it only exists digitally so there is no physical version of it. 
  • Does bitcoin have value?
    Essentially the same way any other traditional currency does – because it’s proven itself to be a viable and useful way to store value, which means it can simply be traded for goods and services. It’s scarce, secure, portable, and easily divisible, allowing transactions of all sizes.
  • What makes Bitcoin a new kind of money?
    Bitcoin is global. You can transfer it across the planet with a click. It isn’t closed on weekends, doesn’t charge you a fee to access your money, and doesn’t impose any arbitrary limits.

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