Elusive 7002 BTC: How to Lose $ 220 Million

Blocked wallet belonging to Stephen Thomas, the American computer scientist contains 7,002 bitcoins worth $220 million.

The coins are housed in an IronKey flash device, which is filled with epoxy on the inside for added security. Everything is fine. Bitcoins are super protected, but ...

Stefan Thomas has no keys.

Years ago, when Thomas blocked his BTC in this device, he had an access code written on a piece of paper. It was lost over time, and now the IronKey Bitcoin wallet is just a useless trinket.

The main problem is that IronKey does not allow brute-force password guessing. The user receives only 10 attempts to enter the password before permanently locking the contents of the wallet.

It is worth noting that Stefan Thomas is not discouraged. He worked for Ripple for a while and made a decent income. Moreover, his story is far from being unique.

According to various estimates, ⅕ of the bitcoins in circulation are stored in inaccessible digital wallets. This directly affected the price of the cryptocurrency, because the fewer coins in circulation, the higher their value.