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Man has two more chances before $232 million is lost forever

After two more failed attempts, the password to his digital wallet will encrypt itself.

A traditional wallet with Bitcoin falling out of it and a phone screen showing a digital wallet.
The German-born man has used eight of his 10 attempts to access his Bitcoin. (Source: Getty)

Back when Bitcoin was worth only $5 a coin, Stefan Thomas was paid 7,002 of them for making a video explaining how the cryptocurrency worked, which was promptly stored in a digital wallet.

Thomas stored the private keys to access the wallet on a small hard drive, which was also password protected. That password, however, was written on a piece of paper and sadly lost.

The 7,002 Bitcoin are now worth more than $232 million and Thomas has just two attempts left to guess the password before it's encrypted and lost forever.


"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."

Strangely, this is not the first time someone has lost millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. Welshman James Howells accidentally threw out a hard drive filled with around $265 million worth of Bitcoin.

Howells has not given up his search in the local dump, hopeful that one day he will find his hard drive.

Is crypto coming back?

Cryptocurrencies closed out February largely unchanged after an enthusiastic rally kicked off 2023.

In February, Ether (ETH-USD), the market's second-largest cryptocurrency, outpaced its larger peer Bitcoin (BTC-USD) rising 1.6 per cent against Bitcoin's more modest 0.4 per cent increase during the month. In January, Bitcoin gained nearly 40 per cent to record its best start to a year since 2013.

Since the beginning of 2023, Bitcoin watchers have focused closely on whether Bitcoin's price could breach US$25,000.

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