Currently worth around $140 billion appear to be in lost or otherwise trapped. This is 20% out of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin.

For example, a programmer from San Francisco has only two guesses left to figure out the password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million! He now needs to get to the IronKey, which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that holds 7,002 bitcoins.

Thomas years ago, lost the paper where he wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10 guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever and eight of them are used up already.

“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Thomas said. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”

Lesson form this is clear, make sure you remember you dam passwords!

Bitcoin has made a lot of its holders very rich in a short period of time, even as the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy.