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Bitcoin: $235 Million to be recovered on a USB drive

Stefan Thomas, a Swiss crypto entrepreneur, lost 7,002 bitcoins worth $235 million due to forgetting the password for his encrypted USB drive, an IronKey. The article explores Thomas’ situation, hacking teams’ efforts, and the challenges of recovering lost cryptocurrency, highlighting the growing interest in lost or inaccessible Bitcoin holdings.

The Mysterious IronKey

Seattle-based startup Unciphered, claims to have developed a secret password-cracking technique for the IronKey, a secure USB thumb drive. The method involves ten incorrect password attempts and a high-performance computer. The team managed to crack a test IronKey in 200 trillion tries, raising hopes of recovering Thomas’ lost bitcoins.

Unciphered: The Keymaster

Unciphered, a team of skilled hackers, has spent months researching and developing to crack the IronKey, a treasure belonging to Thomas. They obtained multiple IronKeys, deconstructed them, and analyzed their internal components. By reverse-engineering the enclave and analyzing its communications, they made significant progress.

Bitcoin: A Treasure Hunt Like No Other

Unciphered’s team of experts meticulously dissected the IronKey device to uncover potential vulnerabilities. Their dedication paid off when they successfully decrypted the device, confirming the effectiveness of their approach. However, their work was incomplete without the cooperation of Stefan Thomas.

Thomas’ Reluctance

Thomas, despite Unciphered’s breakthrough, remains hesitant to seek their help. He has previously agreed with two other hacking teams to crack the IronKey. Unciphered’s attempts to engage Thomas have been met with polite declines, leaving them in a challenging position. Their goal is to convince Thomas to collaborate, unlocking the final hurdle.

The Elusive Password

Thomas’ IronKey password is a mystery, with a massive stake in the loss of a fortune worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Thomas’ reluctance to collaborate with Unciphered and complex contracts complicates the situation. The recovery of lost Bitcoin depends on solving the password puzzle and navigating the intricate dynamics.

The Urgency of Recovery

Thomas’ story highlights the urgency to recover lost Bitcoin, which has risen to half a billion dollars in value over a decade. Fear of losing this fortune drives Thomas to explore recovery avenues, including Unciphered’s breakthrough. However, slow progress and complex negotiations have caused frustration and impatience among those involved.

The Security Conundrum

Thomas’ situation raises questions about secure storage and recovery methods for cryptocurrencies. The IronKey, designed to protect sensitive information, exemplifies the challenges faced by individuals. However, Unciphered’s efforts show that even secure systems can be vulnerable to hackers, highlighting the need for a delicate balance.

Lessons Learned

Stefan Thomas’ lost Bitcoin serves as a warning for cryptocurrency holders, emphasizing the need for secure password management and personal responsibility in safeguarding assets. With Bitcoin’s decentralized nature offering autonomy and privacy, individuals must implement robust security measures and explore recovery options to mitigate the risk of losing their digital fortunes.

The Unending Quest

Unciphered, a team of experts, has successfully decrypted an IronKey, resulting in the recovery of $235 million worth of Bitcoin. Their expertise in digital asset recovery is crucial, and they are now exploring other inaccessible wallets. Despite uncertainty about Thomas’ decision, Unciphered remains hopeful and continues its quest to uncover the mysteries of cryptocurrencies.


Stefan Thomas’ forgotten password and $235 million worth of Bitcoin are captivating stories in digital currencies. Unciphered’s breakthrough in cracking the IronKey demonstrates recovery potential. As cryptocurrencies’ value increases, secure storage and password management become crucial. The quest for lost Bitcoin continues.



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