New Group of “Crypto Hunters” Aims to Learn Where a Fifth of All Bitcoin Has Gone
With so many problems with security and theft in the cryptocurrency industry, it is a relief to find that there’s professionals that want to change that. There is a group of experts that spend their time checking for lost cryptocurrency, using every source available to them. From supercomputer technology to hypnotherapy, this New York firm does all that they can to help investors reclaim their funds.
In a recent report by Chainalysis, about a fifth of all bitcoin in circulation, which amounts to about $20 billion, is missing. Sources say that this loss is permanent, since many of the bitcoin lost is due to the loss of the security information. Every digital wallet has a specific ID, and it can be unlocked with the use of a PIN, much like a bank account. However, these PINs are much harder to recover than one associated with a bank, since the account usually cannot be accessed at all without this password.
Unfortunately, when crypto was low in value in the early 2010s and Bitcoin was not even valued at $10, consumers did not care as much about taking care of their PIN. Losing access to an account with such little value was not as big of a deal then, but Bitcoin’s value has risen to about $6,000 since then, which means that these accounts are worth a fortune now. Other coins have not experienced such a dramatic change, so holders of these coins have not lost nearly as much.
There are multiple crypto hunters on the market now. Read on below to learn about each of the teams.
Wallet Recovery Services
Wallet Recovery Services works to recover the loss passwords and fix wallets that have been corrupted in some way. There are four employees at this company, though they are anonymous to maintain their discrepancy. Their software goes through millions of password combinations until they reach a match.
This company’s fee varies, since it is 20% of whatever they recover from the currency. Once they collect their fee, they give the user their password, though this process can take months and is about 30% successful. The likelihood of success depends on how much information the user can provide the company with.
Jason Miller, Hypnotist
Jason Miller operates independently from Greenville, South Carolina. He puts his patients (customers) in a hypnotic trance to help them remember the password or where they left their hard drive. He says,
“Everybody has a photographic memory. With skilled hypnotic regression, you can access that photograph.”
He charges his clients 0.5 bitcoin before services are rendered, plus 5% of the total amount they are able to recover. However, since he is working within the user’s memory, he never touches the currency, so the user will need to transfer the commission. The speed of this method will depend on the amount of weekly sessions that the user needs to go through to unveil this information. So far, Miller has had success with 50% of his accepted cases, though he only gets about a dozen inquiries yearly.
Tal Haksim is the CEO and founder of WeRecoverData, which is based out of New York. They typically work with government agencies and large tech companies to recover information, and they apply the same technology to these individual investor accounts.
Rather than taking a commission, the total cost of recovering cryptocurrency wallets ranges from $500 to $2500, though the deciding factor seems to be how damaged the file is in the first place. It only takes a few days to get results, and they have an impressive success rate of over 95%, so it is likely to be worth the cost.
Unlike the other companies above, Chainalysis specifically works alongside the FBI and related agencies to help reduce and eradicate crypto theft and other crimes. They do not actually help individuals recover their lost bitcoin, but they have a software program that checks throughout the blockchain to figure out where theft has taken place.
When asked about the cost of services, senior economist Kim Grauer told the Wall Street Journal that it is “more than you can afford,” which is likely due to the fact that they do not recover for individuals. The proves only takes seconds, but the biggest challenge is to uncover anonymous identities.
It is crucial that consumers take care of their personal information with cryptocurrency, but no one can change what they have already lost now. Using one of these services, apart from Chainalysis, is probably the only opportunity that consumers will have to bring back their funds to rekindle their fortune.