The bitcoin investor is about to unlock a fortune of $ 220 million – or he may lose it forever

Ninth charm? For Stephan Thomas, that’s a $ 220 million question.

San Francisco programmer, According to the New York Times, Owns 7,002 BTCUSD,
+ 1.96%
In the digital wallet, he cannot access it because he lost the password. He tried to guess it eight times, to no avail. Now, he only has two more chances or his fortune will be gone.

The hard drive held by Bitcoin, known as IronKey, allows users 10 attempts to crack the code before its contents are forever encrypted. Understandably, it was a tough time for Thomas, who years ago lost the piece of paper with the password.

“I was lying in my bed and thinking about it,” he told The Times in an interview. “Then I go to the computer with some new strategies, and it won’t work, and I’ll be desperate again.”

Thomas isn’t the only one with a password outside of Bitcoin’s fortunes. According to Chainalysis, it appears that about 20% of the current 18.5 million bitcoin, which has an estimated value of $ 140 billion, is lost in digital wallets.

Like many bitcoin enthusiasts, Thomas was drawn to cryptocurrency in part because it was not under the control of a country or a traditional bank. Now, he has some second thoughts. “This whole idea of ​​being your own bank – let me put it this way,” Would you make your own shoes? He said, “The reason we have the banks is that we don’t want to deal with all the things that the banks do.”

But don’t feel bad for Thomas. The Times reported that he had enough bitcoin “to give him more fortunes than he knows what to do.” He has also benefited from Ripple
XRPUSD,
+ 4.70%And the
A cryptocurrency startup he joined again in 2012.

On last inspection on Tuesday, Bitcoin was trading above $ 34,000 and is now up about 320% over the past year, while the S&P 500 SPX,
+ 0.09%
Gained 17%.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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