There arenâ€™t many good ways to lose $220 million, but this New York Times article highlights a particularly egregious one â€” losing millions of dollars in bitcoin because you forgot the password to your digital wallet.
Stefan Thomasâ€™ 7,002 bitcoin (worth roughly $220 million) are locked away in an IronKey hard drive, according to NYTâ€™s Nathaniel Popper. The problem is he canâ€™t remember the password, and heâ€™s just two failed password attempts closer to losing them forever due to IronKeyâ€™s strict security protocols. There is the possibility of paying someone to crack the drive, but Thomas would have to have the time and money to make that happen.
Itâ€™s a darkly comedic scenario, and Popperâ€™s story hits all of the cryptocurrency classics to help explain it. Thereâ€™s mention of the volatile nature of bitcoinâ€™s value and the currencyâ€™s mysterious creator, but what the article makes staggeringly clear is how common losing bitcoin actually is.
Two other people get singled out in Thomasâ€™ story of woe, but itâ€™s a surprisingly common tale. Of the 18.5 million bitcoin currently in existence, roughly 20 percent (around $140 billion) are lost in inaccessible wallets, Popper writes.
There have been other high-value wallets locked out in the past, with contents ranging from $30,000 to $300,000, but Thomasâ€™ story is a reminder of how persistent this problem is among bitcoin users and how expensive it has become. The secure and decentralized nature of bitcoin is great â€” until it collides with simple human forgetfulness.
The post Go read this NYT story about losing $220 million in bitcoin appeared first on TechFans.