One in five bitcoin is stuck on a hard drive, inaccessible, out of reach or, quite simply, lost in the wild. This figure does not fall from the sky but was calculated by Chainalysis, a firm specializing in cryptocurrencies.
Our American colleagues from New York Times therefore sought to find out why and how these millions of dollars (at present) simply could not be collected by their owners.
Read also : What is bitcoin really good for and what’s its future?
Yet by putting them away on a hard drive or even an IronKey, a very secure USB device, and all protected by encryption algorithms and even complicated passwords, these idle millionaires did well. But time has passed, passwords have been forgotten. Or hard drives … formatted. This is why all these bitcoins yet mined and therefore registered in the currency’s books cannot be redeemed or used.
Lost password, hard drives encrypted too well
This is particularly the case of a German developer, who lives in the United States, and who has only two more attempts before his treasure of 220 million dollars is definitively erased from the device on which he has put aside. . An amount that had been given to him by a miner, precisely, for having made a great video on the theme of Bitcoin and which explained to the general public what this strange currency was in … 2011.
He had then invested in an electronic wallet and yet had written the password on a piece of paper. But the latter has lost its way, flown with time. Its owner therefore sheltered the device, in secret, while waiting for decryption technologies to succeed, one day, in breaking the code and, perhaps, making it rich.
It’s a bit the same story as that of an entrepreneur who, for his part, mined bitcoins in the early days and kept the computers on which they are trapped, unable to remember passwords. So, to no longer be confronted with this frustration every day, he extracted the discs from the machines and had them vacuum sealed to better be able to store them in a place of his house where he did not have them constantly under his nose. .
We can not resist, either, to mention this unfortunate parable, whose unfortunate hero saw his laptop formatted, which contained his keys and other electronic wallet passwords, in 2011, by one of his colleagues. He lost 800 bitcoins, or about $ 25 million.
Electronic locksmiths will make a fortune
An organization specializing in the partial or total recovery of certain types of electronic wallet passwords of all kinds – Wallet Recovery Services – drowning in calls and e-mails.
He receives around 70 intervention requests a day, three times more than a month ago. With the value of Bitcoin steadily climbing or maintaining at dizzying heights, work is not going to be lacking anytime soon!
Based on their experience, these specialists do not accept any currency other than the dollar for their services. The material, software and human resources, the WRS company invoices for 20% of the amount in the wallet once opened. It applies a 15% discount if the amount discovered or valued is more than $ 100,000.
Source : The New York Times
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