Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.
With just two guesses left to decide his fate with the hard drive, the user has put it in a secure facility.
Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer, has been left in a very difficult situation after failing to guess his private keys in 8 attempts to access his Bitcoin. Thomas has 7002 Bitcoins which is around $220M in a small hard drive also called IronKey.
Users of this drive have up to 10 attempts to enter their private keys to access their assets or lose them forever. According to reports, Thomas wrote down the password of the IronKey on a piece of paper but unfortunately lost it some years ago.
When talking about how he ended up taking 8 wrong guesses, Thomas said that he desperately thinks about some letter combinations when he goes to bed, and after coming out with what he thinks could be the right one, he walks straight to his computer to try his luck. The frustration of trying to get access to a lost account is very common among people who share a similar fate. Brad Yasar, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles who lost access to his Bitcoin wallet after trying all the possible formulas spoke about how exhausting it can be.
“Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets,” he said.
Yasar mined thousands of Bitcoins in the initial stage of the technology which could have changed his life completely. After uncountable attempts to guess the right password, Yasar has now put the hard drive containing the digital assets into a vacuum-sealed bag to prevent himself from being reminded that his current financial status is just a fraction of what he could have got.
Thomas in his interview disclosed that an early Bitcoin fanatic dashed him the 7002 Bitcoins after being impressed with an animated video entitled “What is Bitcoin?”, created in 2011. Interestingly, his love for Bitcoin has to do with the decentralized nature that makes It function outside the interference of government and central banks.
With just two guesses left to decide his fate with the hard drive, Thomas has put it in a secure facility. Thomas did this to hope that cryptographers may probably come out with a new way of cracking complex passwords in the future. He also put the IronKey in the facility for the sake of his health.
“I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your mental health,” he said.
Just like Thomas, many other people whose stories may not have gotten to the mainstream media are nursing the same wound. It was reported that 20% of Bitcoin in circulation is not accessible. The reason could be that the owners have lost their private keys, or they have not been touched for a long time, or they belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin aims to make people manage their funds by removing middlemen from transactions. Unfortunately, the difficulties in accessing the assets due to lost private keys make it hard to conclude whether the whole idea is necessary.