A man who has guessed two more passwords has been threatened by hackers with losing $240 million in Bitcoin unless they find a solution.

Password forgetting is a real pain in the ass. After trying every possible combination, you finally give up, select “forgot password,” and change it to something you should be able to remember the next time.

The stakes associated with a forgotten password, however, are slightly higher for one man.

READ MORE: Man Who Purchased $22 In Bitcoin Entirely Forgot About It And Returned To A Fortune

What Is Bitcoin? is an animated film that German-born San Francisco programmer Stefan Thomas posted to YouTube in 2011.

Thomas received payment in Bitcoin for creating the video—7,002 Bitcoins, to be exact—from a Bitcoin enthusiast in Switzerland.

The coins were only worth $2 apiece at the beginning, but they quickly gained value to about $34,095.80, bringing the total value of his collection to an astounding $238,735,990.80.

For an animated one-minute video, not too bad, huh?

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Sadly, Thomas is unable to recall the password for the encrypted IronKey hard drive containing the Bitcoin.

This hard disk isn’t your typical piece of technology, though.

Because of its extreme security, anyone attempting to access it only has ten attempts to guess the password before it essentially self-destructs, rendering the contents unavailable to everyone, including the legal owner.

Thomas has tried a number of different methods to gain access to the hard drive since the value of Bitcoin surged, but none of them have been effective.

The programmer thus has two more guesses before his riches is irrevocably lost.

There are now other people attempting to access the hard disk besides Thomas.

READ MORE: Bitcoin Price Plummets Below $25K Following Celsius Freeze

Teams of cybersecurity professionals who are intrigued by the prospect of breaching the wallet have also been trying to figure out how to get inside.

And someone says they’ve discovered the answer.

The company Unciphered, which specializes in retrieving lost bitcoin, claims to have discovered a means to access IronKey hard drives that are ten years old.

Journalist Andy Greenberg of Wired was used to demonstrate the technique; he created a password and had it texted to him the next day.

But Thomas isn’t interested—at least not right now, not with the kind of big wealth at stake.

He turned down Unciphered’s approach when they tried to aid him because of arrangements he had with other groups that are also trying to find answers.

“I have already been working with a different set of experts on the recovery so I’m no longer free to negotiate with someone new,” Thomas stated in an interview with Wired.

If the present team determines that subcontracting Unciphered is the best course of action, it is possible. We’ll have to hold off and observe.”


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