German-born programmer Stefan Thomas made headlines this week after a lost password made his $ 220 million hidden bitcoins inaccessible.
As Insider previously reported, the secure hard drive that stores 7,002 bitcoins was an IronKey device. It gives owners 10 chances to guess their password before encrypting the content. Thomas had only two attempts to guess correctly before this situation occurred.
The New York Times initially reported on Thomas’s plight, quoting him: “I would just go to bed and think about it: Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy and it wouldn’t work and I would be desperate again.”
A potential loss of this magnitude makes it “question your own dignity,” he added. The stock was worth about $ 220 million on Saturday, but as bitcoin prices rose this year, it was valued at more than $ 240 million.
Read more: Bitcoin slips back below $ 35,000 in a volatile trading week
After his story went viral, he gave another interview to KGO-TV, telling the station “time heals all wounds” and that he has come to terms with his potential loss.
He added: “Actually, it was a really big stage in my life when I seemed to realize how I was going to determine my own worth in the future. It wasn’t going to be about how much money I had in my bank account.”
Thomas, a programmer who now lives in San Francisco, is one of several bitcoin owners who have been locked out of their wallets. This left a large amount of bitcoins worth a total of $ 140 million unable to be extracted.
In another case, a Welshman says he said he dumped a hard drive loaded with 7,500 bitcoins in 2013. He offered his council $ 70 million to dig it out of the city dump.
Bitcoin recently rose above $ 40,000, although European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde called for more regulation the day before. On Friday, it slipped below $ 35,000 at the end of a week of volatile trading.