Latest gamble to recover lost cryptocurrency fortune

It’s a gamble like we’ve never seen before.

The man who can’t remember his password to a breathtaking Bitcoin fortune is ready to use one of his two remaining chances in a high-stakes attempt to unlock his riches.

For the past 10 years, Stefan Thomas has been trying to recall the password to a secure external USB drive to access a staggering 7002 Bitcoins worth over $400 million.

San Francisco programmer Stefan Thomas forgot the password to his Bitcoin wallet. (A Current Affair)

READ MORE: Man who accidentally threw out a bitcoin fortune offers $91 million for permission to dig it up

“When it happened, the first two or three weeks were absolutely awful to the point where I’m supposed to be an expert and this is not supposed to happen to me. I was a mess, completely desperate,” Mr Thomas told A Current Affair.

Mr Thomas saved the account code on an iron key device which will encrypt itself forever if 10 consecutive incorrect passwords are entered.

Mr Thomas has entered the wrong password eight times and has just two chances left before the device “self-destructs”.

The programmer’s memory lapse may end up costing him around $400 million. (A Current Affair)
Programmer Stefan Thomas said he’s ready to give his password another shot. (A Current Affair)

READ MORE: ‘Time heals all wounds’: Programmer at peace with losing $300m Bitcoin fortune

“He actually went for a method of password that was strong and encrypted and was safe but because he’s got the physical device but has forgotten the password, he has lost everything,” tech guru Trevor Long said.

The California-based IT boss has had offers from all over the globe to break into the secure hard drive, which is used by the FBI and US Military.

And now, he’s ready to give it another shot.

Tech expert Trevor Long. (A Current Affair)

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“I’ve got all sorts of offers including ones coming from a technical or a security nature and they’re basically looking at the security of this USB stick and seeing if that password could be bypassed,” he said.

Mr Thomas is banking on new technology that could potentially run billions of passwords through the USB stick without it encrypting itself in a “brute force attack”, Mr Thomas said.

Mr Long also admits to losing the password to a few thousand dollars’ worth of digital currency and believes there’s plenty more people out there in the same boat.

“There would be lots of people like me who have lost small amounts and plenty who have lost large amounts. Some of them just wouldn’t want to admit it. They would be lying awake at night just thinking about it,” he said.

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