I think everyone can agree that it’s pretty annoying when you can’t remember your password for one of your accounts and have to go through all the rigmarole of resetting it, but imagine how much more annoying it would be for you if there was no way to reset your password and behind said it was a $220 million fortune?
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This sadly isn’t the plot of a new episode of ‘Black Mirror’, but instead the problem faced by a guy called Steffan Thomas. He was given 7002 Bitcoins by an early proponent of the cryptocurrency back in 2011 after he made a short animated video explaining the concept behind them, but he ended up losing the digital keys the same year and has never been able to get back in.
Thomas has ten attempts at guessing the password before the wallet is locked forever and he’s already used eight of these chances, so it’s not looking too good for the guy. Unsurprisingly, his experience has turned him against the whole concept of Bitcoin and the decentralisation of banking systems:
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.
I would just lay in bed and think about it.
Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.
I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your own mental health’.
He’s now storing the drives in a secure facility in case one day cryptographers will come up with a way of cracking it. Good luck there buddy.
* I think this story would be so much better if I left it there, but it turns out that Thomas wasn’t as stupid as this makes him out to be and he managed to save a whole bunch of his Bitcoins and he’s now pretty much a multimillionaire anyway, so he’s not THAT bothered about losing $220 million. Probably still must sting a little bit though.
For more of the same, check out this story about a guy who died with the password to his Bitcoin exchange so nobody could get on it again. That’s a bummer.