He had put the 7,002 Bitcoin on an IronKey device and forgot the password to access it.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Bitcoin broke past $50,000 for the first time on Tuesday, continuing its stunning rally since the beginning of the year. But what happens when you’ve forgotten your password to access your digital riches?
Odds are you’ve heard the story of one of them, computer programmer Stefan Thomas, whose story went viral this year. He forgot his password to a flash drive containing $220 million in Bitcoin (now worth more with the digital currency’s rise).
He had put the 7,002 Bitcoin on an IronKey device. It gives the owner 10 chances to guess the correct password. He tried seven times and then gave up.
Thomas isn’t the only one to lose vast Bitcoin riches. Welshman James Howells threw away a hard drive with 7,500 Bitcoin on it in 2013. It was virtually worthless then. Now he’s offering $70 million to his city council to dig it up out of the town dump. We hope, if they find it, he’ll remember the password.
If not, an Israeli start-up might have a way to get that Bitcoin back.
Brute Brothers, a company which calls itself a “crypto locksmith,” is ready to give it a go. It’s actually been operating since 2014 but with Bitcoin’s skyrocketing values, the company is getting more attention. It says it runs “specialized hardware and software that can decrypt your wallet and recover your funds.”
Or Weinberger, CEO of Brute Brothers, offers hope to those who’ve, shall we say, “over-encrypted” their Bitcoin, telling Israel Hayom on Thursday that “people forget the passwords for wallets and expect the recovery to be simple, as with any other Internet service, but in this case, it is complicated to impossible. However, do not rush to give up, because in some cases the money can be extracted.”
How much do they charge for the service? The fee is 15% of the recovered coins. That means if Mr. Thomas brings his IronKey flash drive in, Brute Brothers could close up shop and retire to a South Seas island.