A man lingers in limbo, liable to lose a Bit.
At some point, it’s probably happened to you: You’ve misplaced your password.
These days, all but everything requires one.
Who can keep up?
If you’ve ever failed to access that all-important alliance of numbers/letters/symbols, you can relate to San Francisco’s Stefan Thomas.
He’s just like you: He’s human.
He’s just like you: He can’t recall a critical code.
He’s just like you: He’s worth $220 million.
Or, at least, he would be — if he could find his password.
Of that outlandishly large load of loot, in the event he can’t cough up the correct characters, he’ll net none of it.
Hence, he’s “made peace” with his pricey pickle.
If the guy can’t capitalize on his colossal claim, perhaps he’ll manage a means by which to monetize attention — he’s landing lots, following his New York Times profile.
It recently revealed the rich reality of his pitifully poor position.
As reported by LA’s ABC7, Stefan scored $220 Big Ones back in 2012. But only a secret sequence will secure the man’s meathooks around that megalomaniacal amount.
To his credit, he stored the password.
However, it’s on a passcode-protected hard drive that only allows 10 unlocking attempts ’til it wipes itself clean.
Stefan’s down to just two.
In an interview…Wednesday, Thomas said it’s now been nine years since he first realized he was locked out of his account, which means he’s had ample time to process it.
He was desperate — for a couple weeks:
“There were sort of a couple weeks where I was just desperate, I don’t have any other word to describe it. You sort of question your own self-worth. What kind of person loses something that important?”
Now he confirms that “time heals all wounds.”
Over the years, he’s “made peace” with the looming loss.
“It was actually a really big milestone in my life where, like, I sort of realized how I was going to define my self-worth going forward. It wasn’t going to be about how much money I have in my bank account.”
Though he’s not acted on their advice, piles of people across the planet have sent suggestions:
“One person suggested, have you tried the word ‘password’? Some people have recommended various mediums, psychics, prophets that I could talk to. Some people are suggesting nootropic memory enhancing drugs.”
How ’bout a hypnotist?
How ’bout everything, every day, until it comes to him?
According to CNET Editor-at-Large Ian Sherr, Stefan’s conundrum is common:
“The way that Bitcoin works, and that this technology works, is that it’s all meant to be anonymous. But a lot of this data is actually hidden behind a specific password that you have to get into your account.”
A lot of people bought in way back when, not expecting much.
“And now [their investment is] worth millions. And they’re sitting there racking their heads to figure out where that piece of paper is or what their password might have been.”
I say Stefan should rack his head — and anything else — that might rattle his memory.
Has he tried this?–
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 9, 2020
For those of you yet to make your mountain, Ian has advice for archiving important info:
“We had CNET recommend that you use a password manager. This is a single app that sits on your computer or on your phone and it hides behind one password, and it’s a good one. It works really well, because you don’t have to remember anything anymore. You just have one thing.”
Back to Stefan, he’s sharing his story so others don’t make the same mistake.
So let it be a lesson: The next time you snag nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, for Pete’s sake, preserve your password.
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