David Schwartz, the current Chief Technical Officer at Ripple, responds to reports that his predecessor had lost access to hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin.
In a Quora post on Thursday, Schwartz said recent reports on former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas who forgot the password on an encrypted hard drive containing thousands of Bitcoin (BTC) were true, but added that Thomas had also lost access to hundreds of coins when the crypto asset was young.
“He would create unspent output with ‘1.0’ Bitcoin because that was the fastest and easiest number to type,” Schwartz said. He probably made hundreds of such accounts, none of which he kept because they were only for quick experiments. Each of those accounts is worth about $ 38,000 today. “
Even just a hundred of these accounts at 100 BTC would mean the coins in them are worth more than $ 3 million. The price of Bitcoin has fluctuated between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000 since reaching a record amount of more than $ 42,000 on Jan. 8.
Last week a New York Times profile on Thomas said that the German-born programmer used eight out of ten attempts to guess the password access an encrypted hard drive with 7,002 BTC. He’s only got two guesses on the IronKey hard drive before the data – and money – is seemingly lost.
Schwartz confirmed the story about Quora, in which he said that Thomas had put aside the coins that were part of a payment for making a video. However, he questioned the figure of more than $ 200 million quoted by major news outlets:
‘I believe today [Thomas’ Bitcoin is] worth approximately $ 114 million. I’m not sure where the $ 240 million number came from – maybe I remember it wrong. “
There are many similar stories of long-lost Bitcoin from the very beginning of the coin’s development. Last week, Cointelegraph reported that a student had found private keys to access more than $ 4 million worth of Bitcoin in his grandfather’s house during the holiday season.