The most expensive password in the history of humanity

The most expensive password in the history of humanity

Stephan Thomas, a programmer from San Francisco, could be a multimillionaire if it weren't for the trouble of remembering passwords.

Your password should contain letters, numbers, a beginning, an ending and a surprise ending

In 2011, one of the early bitcoin fans gave Stephan 7,002 bitcoins as a gratitude for the animated video “What is bitcoin?”, which he created, but the password to the e-wallet was lost that same year..

And hardly anyone would be too worried about it if the price of bitcoin hadn't risen to a record high of tens of thousands of dollars, which means that by June 2023, the amount of Stephan's e-wallet will be worth more than $173 million. Only one password separates him from the conspicuous wealth locked away on his small IronKey hard drive.

IronKey is famous for not having a password recovery feature, and only giving the user ten attempts to recover  his/her password before locking and encrypting the data forever. The piece of paper on which the password for IronKey had been written was lost by the unfortunate programmer many years ago, and as a result of which Stephan almost had a nervous breakdown trying to remember the code.

Many of those who bought bitcoin about a decade ago could not say for sure that the tokens would be worth anything in the future and did not give their crypto wallets much importance. But years later, when it became clear that cryptocurrency had become a full-fledged player in the financial market and bitcoin could be officially withdrawn from white crypto wallets, many people had a real nervous breakdown because of forgotten passwords.

I was just lying in bed and thinking about the password. Then I went to the computer with a new strategy, and with each new failure, I became more and more desperate

Stephan Thomas, the lucky owner of 7,002 bitcoins in an electronic wallet

After 8 unsuccessful attempts, Stephan put the hard drive in a safe place to preserve mental health and be able to unlock it when technology is able to do so.

According to a report by Chainalysis, approximately 20% of the world's 18.5 million bitcoins have been irretrievably lost in wallets where passwords have been forgotten. The total value of lost bitcoins is currently estimated at around $140 billion. Such a huge amount speaks to the ubiquitous problem of forgotten passwords.

And while in the past there was no solution to protect against such situations, today, with the development of modern technologies, it is possible to authenticate a user's identity using biometrics, in particular his or her face. In addition, in order to work with cryptocurrency exchanges through a fiat filter, a full KYC (Know Your Customer) verification is required, which can be done both manually and automatically.

The automated remote onboarding solutions from Biometric.Vision enable rapid user identification using biometrics in compliance with all KYC requirements. There's no need to remember passwords, just as there's no need to say your password when you meet an old friend who knows you by sight.

If you are interested in learning more about how biometric technology can make life easier for users and business, welcome to our website - Biometric.Vision where you can find all the information about our technology and ask your questions to our AI-based chatbot.

As for Stephan in this situation, let's wish him luck. After all, he still has two attempts left.


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