Topic: again a Bitcoin millionaire who forgot his password (Read 861 times)

jr. member
Activity: 58
Merit: 10
Just print the BTC private key somewhere and voila your bitcoins are stored for life! No need for any special device. Some people make things more complicated than they are.

Exactly. Hell I'm even thinking of getting a lead? Or maybe .... aluminum or some thin sheet of metal to scratch the phrases on there. metal in case of a fire
Activity: 1582
Merit: 1187
This is surely very awful to think of the big amount stored into the account where he forgot his own password. This must raise an awareness to the newbies and even to the oldies how important to keep your private keys and make sure you will not forget your passwords no matter what for you will be regretting everything once you did forgot those and you cannot have an access on your account when you know you have stored a seriously big amount of money into that. Everyone must be responsible enough on dealing with some basic necessary information they are doing for the reason that securing you have an access into your own account is the basic thing you must always keep into your mind.
jr. member
Activity: 518
Merit: 1
What you said is right. One will only understand the power of private key, password and passphrase when you forget it.
I lost some of my assets when I lost my phone though i was new to cryptocurrency then. I didn't back up must of them then because I thought that the phone will always be there.
full member
Activity: 700
Merit: 101
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This is a very good example of why wallet passwords should be kept as safe as possible. It is advisable to write them out in three to four places and keep them in different safe places such that there is always a backup in case of any misfortune.
What I find ironic is that many people would see examples such as this and still repeat the same mistakes. They'd still be nonchalant about how and where to keep their wallets passwords until they learn their lessons the hard way.
There's a saying that says 'Better safe than sorry'
Activity: 12
Merit: 2
They say hindsight is 20/20 and of course it is, but back in 2008, at the very beginning there was no value to it, at the time it was suggested that one cent would be the starting point, again, no one really understood the future in 2008.  So it should not be a surprise that years later, a lot of people cannot locate their paper wallets and actually there was no wallet in 2008.   I was running the beta, DEC 2008, ran it for days, until feb 2 2009, when the video card burned up.  I know how many were generated and at the time, I thought ok, mining bitcoin for 22 days, with a 150 mb internet connection and if each bitcoin was worth 1 penny, well that's $10.46 cents, A pizza from papa johns was $14.95 cents.  So really did not even think about it, util about a year ago.  Could someone who lost their paper wallet or just cannot find it, still get what they have on the blockchain?  It is possible, but only if they can locate that private key and file or the recovery phrase, which really came later.   So if someone had untouched bitcoin on the blockchain, they would need that private key and password to get it.   Because there was no wallet and no recovery until later in 2009.  Who knows for sure how this might one day work out for all of those people who lost access, lost wallets, lost passwords.  I suspect there are a lot of people in that same boat.
sr. member
Activity: 1064
Merit: 276
I don't know how you can love with yourself after thism I do remember reading about this though. Very sad. Wow. That's so much money that's a dream ruined right there. Whenever I sold or spend bitcoin at a bad price I always try to remind myself at least I'm not one of those people who lost a whole lot of crypto on their old HDD or flash drive or something. Back in the day when you didn't know what bitcoin was or that it would be a thing so I guess people were a lot more careless then they are now since it's now worth something. When a pizza was 10k coins you didn't care of you lost a few. Now you do....
sr. member
Activity: 1162
Merit: 324
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Cant believe someone would be that dumb not to have a plan B in such scenario. Cant believe that a programmer did not back-up password and is so irresponsible to passwords.
I think the whole story is - he mined or got these bitcoins years ago and completely forgot about them. But only when bitcoin price rose up, he remembered that he is rich. Rich and dumb. This is his punishment for not being serious.
full member
Activity: 1176
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This happens sometimes, so you need to be very careful that this does not happen to you.
after all 7000 BTC is an amount that would drive someone crazy if lose it...
being a human is inseparable from negligence and of course, that person loses his password due to negligence. saving a password is a small thing but losing it is a big one.
Activity: 1204
Merit: 1003
How bad would feel to lose 7,000 BTC... i think a lot of people would commit suicide if that happens to them. It is like losing a winning lottery ticket.

But I agree with some users on this thread, with the right amount of money it could be craked, people with video card mining rights could use that power to try to brute force that wallet, it worth the try.
it takes a very long time to brute force if you forget the password completely without any master password leading to the correct password. and also need a super computer to perform brute force at high speed.
Losing a password like this is ridiculous and very careless. How can a wallet with 7000 BTC forget the password, he should have an offline backup stored or at least write down a document on his computer.
Will not be able to sleep until the password is cracked.
sr. member
Activity: 1260
Merit: 264
It's a bitcoin shortage that we really need to anticipate and what happened to Stefan Thomas who forgot his password has happened several times with different people and with different amounts of bitcoin, it's inconceivable if that happened to us, I'm sure Stefan Thomas imagined and fantasize if the password can be opened because the amount is very large, namely 7,002 bitcoins so anything can be bought.
sometimes such people who have owned a very large amount of bitcoin in the past do not really think about whether the price will increase many times in the future, and do not think that passwords are very important to be properly maintained.
Activity: 3206
Merit: 1845
what is this "brake pedal" you speak of?
the thing that gets me is its only on that ONE flash drive. how can you trust that amount of money on a single device with no backups.

at least get several. and use different brands and/or media whenever possible.

i have a similar flash drive (it has a number pad to unlock it) and that code is stashed away in several places.

of course 20/20 hind site and all.. i really hope he gets it unlocked. as others said, hire someone from the factory or some other high tech way to hack it without the code.

full member
Activity: 700
Merit: 115
stories of bitcoin wallet loss are always very touching. there is no point holding a valuable thing that can accurately keep its details safe for a longer time. its as good as saying you lost it. i wish he finds it by miracle. am sure many people are in this shoes because no one took it serious back then. always keep your details safe like your life depends on it.
sr. member
Activity: 574
Merit: 253
This happens sometimes, so you need to be very careful that this does not happen to you.
Activity: 21
Merit: 0
Things like this sounded a wake-up call for those who came later. You must remember your wallet private key password, because it is related to your own worth, and it is unknown if you become a billionaire one day.
full member
Activity: 840
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I think if someone forgot his password or lost access to their private key then, they lost everything they have, because if you  those things are important to access our e-wallet.

So, to avoid such things, its better to have printed private key that you can use in case you lost your e-copy.
Activity: 2030
Merit: 1703
How bad would feel to lose 7,000 BTC... i think a lot of people would commit suicide if that happens to them. It is like losing a winning lottery ticket.

But I agree with some users on this thread, with the right amount of money it could be craked, people with video card mining rights could use that power to try to brute force that wallet, it worth the try.
sr. member
Activity: 1330
Merit: 281
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It is unfortunate that Stefan Thomas cannot access the 7002 BTC he owns, moreover, the price of Bitcoin is now at $ 54k, must have been very painful
for Stefan Thomas. This is a lesson for all of us, that we must store private keys or passwords carefully and in a safe place. So there will not be
a repeat of an incident where we cannot access the Bitcoin that we have. As long as we can store the private keys in a safe place, we should be able
to access the Bitcoin that we have.
Activity: 2786
Merit: 1127
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Lost coins   make everyone else's coins worth slightly more.  Think of it as a donation to everyone.

Perfectly agreed. On top of that, I would consider this as a form of wealth redistribution. It is a well known fact that most of the users who have forgot their passwords are those who accumulated thousands of coins in 2010, 2011 or 2012. So in a sense, it is good for the Bitcoin sector that these guys can't access their coins. Else too few people will be having too many coins in their possession and they will be able to manipulate the exchange rates on a regular basis.
full member
Activity: 1232
Merit: 106
The idea of forgeting bitcoin passwords and all of that just helps in reducing the total circulation, as that can be said to be a burn just as the guy whose girlsfriend threw away his harddrive containing a 7500 bitcoin. you never really can tell but all these acts of misplacement positively drives the price of bitcoin higher. Although, it isn't a good one for the owner but if he finlly can't get access to his bitcoin then there is definately nothing anyone can do excpet the iron monkey decides to help out.

German-born programmer Stefan Thomas told the Times he forgot the password to IronKey, an secure flash drive has access to 7,002 Bitcoin - $220 million worth. IronKey gives users 10 guesses for their passwords before seizing its contents.
"I would just lay in bed and think about it," Thomas told the New York Times Nathaniel Popper. "Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn't work, and I would be desperate again."

quite surprised by this news because his Bitcoin trapped in his hardware wallet is very much.  Don't underestimate your private key and password, if you haven't prepared the best place (easy to remember and reach) to store your private key and password then do it right now..
Activity: 1190
Merit: 4948
There are lies, damned lies and statistics. MTwain
There’s a recent podcast interview with Stefan Thomas (see/listen to:, and the interesting thing is that, apparently, he lost access to his bitcoins during 2011. The news has become widespread recently, but it really comes from afar.

During the podcast interview, Stephan comments that, back in 2011, people were less concerned with the personal security of their bitcoins (the facilities weren’t the same as nowadays either). Even so, he had his wallet encrypted on the IronKey device, but also has two other encrypted backups elsewhere (which he does not detail). As it seems, when he became aware of having forgotten the password, he also came to learn that he could not access the content of his backups either (no further details provided). There is no mention to using paper to store anything as a means of backup.

He claims that, back in 2011, his 7200 bitcoins were worth 148k$ (something like 20,55$/BTC), adding up to a pretty penny even then.

He states that he is currently still trying to see in the IronKey content is recoverable, with the aid of a data recuperation and forensics company (no further details provided).
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