In the shadowy corners of the digital world, where the glow of computer screens illuminates faces with eerie light, there exist tales of lost fortunes. These tales act as a terrifying reminder of the unpredictable nature and volatility present in the cryptocurrency markets and the need to adopt stringent security measures.
1. James Howells and the lost 7,500 BTC
A British man named James Howells unintentionally threw away a hard drive in 2013 that contained 7,500 Bitcoin (BTC), currently valued at over $2.5 billion. The hard disk is still buried; he can’t figure out where it is, even after making several desperate attempts to retrieve it from the landfill in New Port, Wales. Howell’s story serves as a reminder that digital gold could be turned into digital dust.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) January 14, 2021
2. Stefan Thomas and the 7,002 BTC conundrum
San Francisco-based programmer Stefan Thomas (formerly the chief technology officer at Ripple) was plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare after he lost the password to his digital wallet. Thomas was left with just two password attempts before the security system would encrypt his fortune forever, rendering them unusable and unreachable, with 7,002 BTC at stake.
The hard drive, named the Iron Key, boasts an impenetrable design engineered to withstand all types of attacks. Users are granted only ten wrong password attempts before the drive permanently locks out.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Thomas told The New York Times. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
On Oct. 25, crypto recovery firm Unciphered extended an open letter, offering to unlock an IronKey hard drive owned by Thomas, which holds 7,002 BTC. Despite the offer, Thomas has not taken any action on this matter yet.
A painful memory. I hope others can learn from my mistakes. Test your backups regularly to make sure they are still working. An ounce of foresight could have prevented a decade of regret.
— Stefan Thomas (@justmoon) January 12, 2021
3. Mt. Gox’s mysterious 850,000 BTC vanishing act
Mt. Gox — the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world at the time — declared…