News Flash (hello, Flash): According to the New York Times (uh-oh), in 2011, a San Francisco man made an animated video titled “What Is Bitcoin?” explaining how the new-fangled cryptocurrency works. As a reward, fledgling start-up bitcoin.org gifted the video creator 7,002 bitcoins, at the time worth $2 each, making the lucky giftee’s “virtual” windfall worth exactly $14,004, per my fuzzy math. He stashed his cyber-cache of cyber-cash in his bitcoin account’s digital wallet, where he let it sit, out of sight, out of mind.
But a year later, when he wanted to access his “found” funds, he’d lost track of the paper upon which he’d written his precious password, and hadn’t a clue what to do.
Oops. Been there, done that, but not with bitcoin. That’d be (ahem) a “bit” above my pay grade! But I digress. So what did the man from San Fran do? He waited, biding his time. No biggie. What was fourteen-thousand simoleons anyhoo? Penny-ante chump change, right? Not so fast, Bunky!
A decade passed, and in the intervening years, each of his 7,002 cyber-trinkets had ballooned from $2 each to a measly (sigh) $39,600 apiece, as of this date representing a paltry sum, “virtually” speaking, of only (gulp) $277,279,200 and zero cents, a mere pittance, zilch of which is gettable unless and until the lad’s long-lost password, now missing for ten years, somehow miraculously materializes. Do you believe in magic?
Good luck with that. Worse yet, bitcoin accounts allow only ten unsuccessful log-in attempts before its ironclad “IronKey” hard-drive is voided, for all intents and purposes erasing the password at the source, permanently and irretrievably encrypting its bits and bytes, wiping clean the account, its funds forever lost to the ether of cyberspace, well and truly gone-gone-gone with the wind!
Oh, by the by, the San Fran man has already used up eight of his ten allotted password “guesses”, to no avail. Eight down, two to go. Whence cometh doom?
Speaking of exercises in futility, maybe it’s time to call a psychic, or hypnotist, or both, and have them do their voodoo, however esoteric or cryptic (sorry) it may be. At this point, my advice would be to petition St. Anthony with prayer!
Alas, the uber-frustrated San Fran man’s locked-down, verboten account currently contains over a quarter of a billion smackeroonies-worth of bitcoin. That’s billion with a “B,” Bunky. In the meantime, the value of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly from time to time, er, from dime to dime? And if I may borrow a “bit” (sorry again) from the show “Seinfeld,” the San Fran man may one day be “fluctuated” out of the whole kit and caboodle, or as the proverbial Cryptocurrency Nazi would say, “No bitcoin for you!