There’s a lot of wealth in cryptosphere that seems out of reach.
Long-standing statistics suggest that four million Bitcoin, or almost 20% of total supply, have been lost forever. It was mined in the early days of the network, when many early adopters were tearing their hair after losing their private keys. , a Welshman, has been fighting for his hard drive with 7,500 BTC from the landfill for nine years.
This isn’t the only treasure chest that’s worth looking into. Did you know that there are over 500 Ethereum presale wallets still to be recovered? And they collectively have a value in excess of several billion dollars.
In the summer 2014, ETH presale — now the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world — was held. One Bitcoin was worth 2,000 Ether. Now, the exchange rate is less generous. 1 BTC will fetch you 12 ETH. 8.893 people took part in the presale, and they were all given tokens in genesis block. Experts say that hundreds of wallets are still unaffected.
These wallets can contain tens to thousands of ETH, which is worth tens or thousands of dollars today. Some wallets have more than 10,000 Ethereum inside, which means their owners miss out on a life-changing $22 million.
This raises big questions about whether these wallets are a lost cause. These funds will be irretrievable if Ethereum merges from a Proof of Work to a Proof of Stake blockchain. Who in their right mind would be able to access their crypto after participating in a presale?
There are many factors that could lead to presale wallet private keys being lost. This could have been due to a problem in the browser, difficulties with foreign keyboard settings or poor security practices. We must not forget that crypto was new and shiny back then. Many early investors were still learning as they went.
What should these people do? Don’t give up and think about what could have been. This story can be used to tell people about how you lost out on millions of money at dinner parties. You can fight back and start the painful process of reclaiming what is rightfully yours.
How to recover a presale wallet
It is possible. First, go to Etherscan to check the balance for the address you are having trouble retrieving. If crypto has not been claimed, it is time to do some work.
The next step is more difficult. It is important to remember passwords you use most often at any given time. Software called Hashcat is able to test many variations. It allows you to alternate between uppercase and lowercase characters and can even change letters like a or i for special characters such as @ and! You can perform up to 200,000 password checks per minute with the right GPU card.
This may all seem daunting, and you might end up with nothing. This doesn’t mean you are out of options. Next, you need to seek the assistance of professionals who are experienced in cracking codes and reuniting crypto owners.
KeychainX explains that forgotten presale wallets can often have certain parameters — and it has developed custom-made software for successfully recovering lost crypto.
Cointelegraph was informed by the project that “Lost crypto wallets can be a major headache for many crypto owners.” Over 200 people have used KeychainX to help them recover lost Ether, Bitcoin, and Dogecoin in the past 12 months.
The proof is in what you eat
After being part of the Ether presale, one Ethereum enthusiast reached out to KeychainX. He had just 300 dollars and received 1,000 Ethereum. This crypto sum was worth close to $2 million at the time of writing. The problem was that the customer believed the wallet to be corrupt.
Although he was fairly certain of the password, there were two problems. First, he was half French. This could have caused problems with decryption foreign characters. The password was also 99 characters long. The password was also sexual in nature. Project specialists had to search for common phrases in English and French to test it.
KeychainX was able to translate the special characters in the wallet’s encryption — treating them like Cyrillic. The process took several weeks. It also took three days for KeychainX to locate the customer and deliver the good news.
This project doesn’t only aim to recover long-lost crypto but also prevent future investors from finding themselves in a similar position. The keyless crypto wallet uses biometrics and geolocation data to store private keys. It has been granted a patent in Japan and the U.S. It plans to launch an automated crypto recovery site, which will allow people to use their excess GPU power to participate in a social recovery program.
Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, recently spoke at the Blockchain Futurist Conference (Canada) about his vision for social and technological recovery. He explained how Web3 could be a better way to retrieve accounts than Web2. Users could, for example, nominate five recovery contacts: two institutions, one employer and one friend. The account could then be locked if three of these trusted sources agree.
It can be very devastating to lose crypto — but projects such as KeychainX work to make sure that this happens far less often in the future.
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