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on the verge of losing 200 million euros for forgetting the password

A programmer German resident in San Francisco has just two more attempts to figure out a password with which you access to 220 million dollars (181 million euros). The password it will allow Stefan Thomas to unlock a small hard disk that contains the private keys of a digital wallet that contains 7.002 bitcoines, has explained to the american newspaper The New York Times. The price of the virtual currency has soared in recent weeks reaching a new historic maximum of us $ 40,000. The problem is that Thomas has already exhausted eight attempts to gain access to his fortune millionaire and if it fails, the two remaining your content will be encrypted and lost forever.

10 years ago Thomas received these 7.002 bitcoines to change to develop an explanatory video on this technology called “What is Bitcoin?”. That same year, in 2011, it lost the digital keys, and since then has tried to decipher them. Bitter experience has led him to question the philosophy of bitcóin, which promotes that its control must not reside in banks and governments, only in the users.

20% of all bitcóin has been lost

“I lay there in bed and thought,” Thomas said to The New York Times. “Then he went to the computer with a new strategy, and it didn’t work, and it would be desperate.” But the story of this programmer is not an isolated case. Apparently, several owners of bitcóin have had to say goodbye to his fortune digital the you lose or forget the keys. Nathaniel Popper, a journalist on the average american, explains that, of the 18.5 million bitcoines existing, around the 20%, currently worth about 140,000 million dollars, seem to be in wallets lost or strandedaccording to the data of Chainalysis, a company analysis of the blockchain. For its part, Wallet Recovery Services, a company that helps you find keys lost digital, explains to The New York Times that he had received 70 requests a day from people who wanted help to recover their virtual money, three times the amount of a month ago.

Brad Yasar is an entrepreneur of Los Angeles who goes through a similar situation. Have several computers that contain thousands of bitcoines acquired during the origin of the criptomoneda. “Over the years, I would say that I’ve spent hundreds of hours trying to re-enter these portfolios,” says the Times. These cases remind us of the unusual nature of these coins digitales. Its lack of regulation relates to the bitcóin with the “deep web”, cyber-scams and risky ventures, although with the passage of the years their transactions have been extended to other areas. Precisely because of this lack of regulation, bitcóin does not have any company that provide or store passwords. Its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, created this virtual currency with the goal that any person could open a bank digital and keep the money outside the control of governments.

Outsource it to companies to ensure the keys

But its structure is not the best way to remember and protect passwords. Many owners of bitcóin have realized the difficulties that entails and have outsourced the work to new companies to ensure the private keys of the deposits of the virtual currency. “Even sophisticated investors have been completely unable to perform any type of management of private keys”, says The New York Times Diogo Monica, a co-founder of a new company called Anchorage, which helps companies manage the safety of the criptomonedas.

In terms of the history of Stefan Thomas, ends by telling that he recalled the passwords that allowed him access to other portfolios. In 2012, he joined the emerging company of criptomonedas Ripple, which had as an objective to improve bitcóin. He was rewarded with the own native currency of Ripple, known as xrp, that increased value. With the rest of bitcoines those who still do not have access to, Thomas has saved the hard disk that contains the password to the waiting for the cryptographers to find new ways to decipher complex passwords.

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