A probably very sweaty guy stands to lose a whopping $300 million Bitcoin fortune if he can’t remember his password in two attempts.
We’ve all been there so it’s very easy to sympathise. We’ve just never been on the verge of losing a LOT of money if we forget our password though.
One anxious U.S. computer programmer could be about to do just that.
Stefan Thomas has just two of his 10 attempts to guess his password remaining. If he’s unsuccessful, he will lose out on 7002 Bitcoin, which correlates to a ridiculous USD$220 million.
In dollarydoos, that’s just around $303 million. Yeah, ridiculous.
The stakes are extremely high that we’re sweating ourselves: if Thomas incorrectly guesses the IronKey password 10 times, the hard drive will lock up forever and never be available.
The news has prompted several heroic saviours to come forward. Password crackers have offered their services in exchange for a share of the money.
One such individual, Alex Stamos, an internet security expert at Stanford Internet Observatory, claimed that he can crack the code within six months. All he wants is a cool USD$30 million in return. Considering that leaves Thomas around $190 million, we think he’ll survive losing that much.
“Um, for $220m in locked-up bitcoin, you don’t make 10 password guesses but take it to professionals to buy 20 IronKeys and spend six months finding a side-channel or uncapping,” Stomas said on Twitter. “I’ll make it happen for 10%. Call me.”
Thomas initially received the huge Bitcoin amount after making a video about how the cryptocurrency worked. Back then it was worth around just $5 a coin, whereas it now trades at more than $40,000.
This story is one to keep an eye on over the coming months. We don’t envy Thomas or the many others who may lose out on their own Bitcoin fortune right now.
A painful memory. I hope others can learn from my mistakes. Test your backups regularly to make sure they are still working. An ounce of foresight could have prevented a decade of regret.
— Stefan Thomas (@justmoon) January 12, 2021