A German-born programmer in San Francisco has now used up eight of 10 password attempts he has to unlock the hard drive containing the private keys to his Bitcoin wallet, which contains 7,002 Bitcoin (). As of press time, those holdings would be worth $268 million — that is, if only they were accessible.
As a New York Times profile on Jan. 12 outlined, Stefan Thomas uses a hard drive called an IronKey, but lost the paper on which he wrote down the password for the device "years ago." If Thomas fails to remember it, 10 failed guesses will result in the drive encrypting its contents forever. He has, so far, tried eight guesses with no luck.Ouch.