Stefan Thomas, a German holder of 7,002 bitcoins stored on a hard drive, forgot his password.

If the last two remaining attempts to access the contents of this hard drive are wrong, he will lose access to the amount he has with this cryptocurrency, which is the equivalent of $ 220 million.

What if your ability to become a millionaire depended on just a few letters or a few numbers?


New York Times

tells the story (in English) of those whose fortunes literally depend on a few characters.

They are the owners of bitcoins, which can only be stored on a hard drive or USB key.

The price of this cryptocurrency, only accessible online, is irregular.

However, it has soared in recent months, reaching $ 30,000, about 25,000 euros.

It has quadrupled in a year and many are making some extra money from their initial investment.

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Others have bet on the right horse, potentially won a lot of money, but cannot access it.

Why ?

Quite simply because they forgot their hard disk password, on which these bitcoins are stored.

The American daily takes the example of Stefan Thomas, who has owned since 2011 the colossal sum (today) of 7,002 bitcoins which are potentially worth 220 million dollars (about 183 million euros).

Routine of "despair"

But Stefan Thomas has a big problem: he is one of those who can no longer find the access codes for his IronKey hard drive to recover them.

This American is allowed ten attempts but has already tried eight, to no avail.

If he cannot find the correct password, his money is definitely lost.

"All I can do is lie down on my bed thinking. Then I sit in front of my computer with a new strategy… which doesn't work and plunges me again into despair," he explains. it to the

New York Times


Man is far from being the only one in this situation.

According to the American media, 20% of bitcoins would no longer be accessible to their owners.

This would represent around 116 billion euros.

These mishaps should therefore encourage potential buyers to note the password of the media on which they store the bitcoins.