Here’s a story that will make you feel sick to your stomach: one man has just two chances left to guess the password of a hard drive holding 7,002 BTC.
If Stefan Thomas fails to crack the code, he’ll miss out on a fortune worth $240 million at the time of writing — and the contents of the disk will be encrypted forever.
The programmer, who lives in San Francisco, told The New York Times he has been lying in bed thinking about what the password could be, but his past eight attempts have failed.
And Thomas isn’t alone. One entrepreneur in Los Angeles revealed that he has thousands of Bitcoin stored on desktop computers he can no longer access — PCs that he has now hidden out of sight. He added:
“I don’t want to be reminded every day that what I have now is a fraction of what I could have that I lost.”
Stefan Thomas was given the massive crypto haul in 2011 “by an early Bitcoin fanatic as a reward for making an animated video.”
Now, he is completely against the notion that people should hold their own crypto — warning that it can have life-changing consequences. He told NYT journalist Nathaniel Popper:
“This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way: Do you make your own shoes? The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do.”
In another classic case, a man called James Howells threw away a hard drive that contained 7,500 BTC — and the disk is now believed to be in a landfill somewhere in Wales. Despite the promise of a $10 million reward, the council has refused to help him dig it up.
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