San Francisco programmer Stephen Thomas is in a tough situation: he has only two attempts to become a millionaire or the biggest loser on Earth.
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) January 12, 2021
The fact is that ten years ago, the customer paid off with Thomas for the work with cryptocurrency – the programmer received 7002 bitcoins, which today equals about $ 240 million, The Guardian reports.
Thomas put the cryptocurrency on an electronic wallet, the keys to which he kept on the IronKey drive. But the programmer completely forgot the passwords to the hard disk. He has already used eight out of ten possible attempts, and if he does not remember the combination from the two remaining attempts, then IronKey will automatically encrypt all its contents and access to the money will be lost forever.
Internet security expert Alex Stamos, having learned about Stefan’s plight, has already offered him his services. For six months and 10 per cent of the wallet, he will help a colleague hack a hard drive. Whether Thomas agreed to this proposal is still unknown.
By the way, according to the analytical company Chainalysis, about 20% of the existing 18.5 million bitcoins are stored just in lost or blocked wallets. In dollars, this amount is almost 140 billion.