Two Wrong Guesses And This Programmer Loses USD 241M in Bitcoin

Former Ripple CTO Cannot Access His Bitcoin Wallet That Is Now Worth $231 Million

Man Has Two Guesses To Remember Forgotten Password For $220 Million Bitcoin Wallet

It really sucks when the code that's right on the tip of your brain is keeping you from accessing millions of dollars' worth of bitcoin-and if you guess wrong too many times, your account will be locked forever.

The report claims Thomas originally received the bitcoin as payment for his services a decade ago, when the price of each coin was trading around $5.

That's the situation for programmer Stefan Thomas but the stakes are higher than most - the forgotten password will let him unlock a hard drive containing $240m (£175m) worth of Bitcoin.

Despite having recorded the password in question on a piece of paper, that precaution has since proven futile given Thomas has no fucking idea where said piece of paper can be found; leaving our down-on-his-luck San Francisco programmer with just ten guesses before IronKey completely seizes up and encrypts its contents forever.

"Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn't work, and I would be desperate again", Thomas told the New York Times.

Alex Stamos, an internet security expert at Stanford Internet Observatory, said he believed he could crack the password within six months - in exchange for a 10 per cent cut of the digital fortune.

Bitcoin has surged in value in recent months. In fact, there are an estimated 18.5 million Bitcoin, totaling almost $140 billion, lost because the private keys went missing or the wallet owners died without passing the codes to someone else.

Mr Thomas said he has already tried eight passwords he uses without success.

One of Bitcoin's biggest selling points is that it makes it possible to be your own bank, meaning that you do not have to trust centralized authorities to store your money. "I'll make it happen for 10%".

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