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Ex-Ripple CTO Can't Remember Password to Access $240M in Bitcoin

Just call it Schrödinger's bitcoin.

Jan 13, 2021 at 4:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:55 a.m. UTC

The former chief technology officer of a prominent blockchain company has forgotten the password to a fortune in bitcoin.

  • Almost a decade ago, Stefan Thomas, the former CTO at blockchain company Ripple Labs, was given 7,002 bitcoins worth $2-$6 each for making a cryptocurrency explainer video, reports the New York Times.
  • The bitcoin had been stashed away in a digital wallet and Thomas has used eight of his most frequently used passwords in an attempt access his IronKey hard drive and his now multimillion-dollar fortune but has had no luck.
  • Two attempts now remain before the device auto-encrypts its contents, leaving Thomas’ fortune in limbo. Just call it Schrödinger's bitcoin.
  • “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,” added Thomas.
  • Bitcoin prices have climbed from  $10,000 to $41,000 over the past three months. The price of bitcoin was at $34,290 at the time of publication, making Thomas' inaccessible stash worth an estimated $240 million.
  • It seems Thomas will have to HODL on for a little while longer until he finds a way to access the bitcoin.

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