Bitcoin (BTC) places the responsibility for your money with the user. That has a lot of advantages, but it can also go seriously wrong. A Redditor lost access to 2.6 BTC due to its own stupid mistake. The user named Onnar tells his unfortunate story on Reddit.
At the time of writing, 2.6 BTC is worth about $96,000. A lot of money!
Things went wrong when Onnar wanted to transfer his data from his old computer to a new one. During the holidays, the unfortunate bitcoiner rewarded himself with the purchase of a new PC.
The old hardware became a work computer. Before he started transferring the data, he checked if he still had the right backups for his small fortune in bitcoin: „I have encrypted backups with my private keys on two different USB sticks at two different locations.
Before emptying his computer, Onnar checks to see if all this is working. After all, the backups were made about a year and a half earlier: „Of course, a Ledger (a hardware wallet, ed.) is easier.
Erasing and transferring data
Everything seems to be going well. With software called Disk Wipe he erases all data. The computer is now to work on while traveling etc. He reinstalls the operating system and feels good. He also provides the new hardware with the right installations.
Time for the Bitcoin wallet!
And now it’s time for the bitcoin wallet. You guessed it, something is going wrong there… He needs to import his encrypted file from one of the two USB sticks. Simple.
Through a command in OpenSSL he takes the first steps: he is now asked for a password. And that’s easy, Onnar uses a password manager. A piece of software that helps you control your passwords.
And… there is no password for the bitcoin wallet! He searches for the password for half an hour, but it simply isn’t there. He is sure he used a generated password from his password manager.
His own theory about the error: „After testing the password manager, I find a serious problem: you can create a password, copy it and paste it somewhere. But that password is not automatically saved! He forgot to use the ’save button‘.
Onnar comes to a sad conclusion: „It’s 100% my own fault“. He should have checked everything beforehand. Going through the whole process once or twice if you take these kinds of steps is not an exaggerated measure.
The moral of the story: pay close attention to your money and check again if you can reach your bitcoin if something goes wrong.