The Man Who Lost $220 Million In Bitcoin

Josh L
2 min readApr 30, 2022

And the lesson we can all learn from it

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

Stefan Thomas had over 7,000 Bitcoin stored in his secured hard drive.

It only allows you 10 chances to guess your password before it encrypts all the information it has stored and can no longer be accessed.

He had all that money so close to him, yet he could not get to it. He told news outlets that he would just lay in his bed all night and think about it.

It was all he thought about most waking moments.

Naturally, he was depressed about the situation and was pissed that a forgotten password ruined his life.

He added that “You sort of question your self-worth” when asked about how he felt about it.

What Are Stefan’s Options?

Well, he has two options.

The money is gone. There is nothing he could do about it. This is a fact.

Where does that leave him?

  1. He can be miserable his entire life thinking about what could have been.
  2. He can put it behind him and do the best he can with his remaining time on Earth.

That’s it.

Most people in his situation would choose option number one. They would constantly think about what could have been.

It’s understandable. Losing that amount of money is not only life-changing for you, but it changes the lives of generations to come.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

How Stefan Got Through It

He now believes that time heals all wounds.

This is true.

Think about any trauma or negative thing that has happened to you in your life. The longer ago it happened, the less of an impact it has on you.

He is smart to realize this and it helps to put it behind him.

He told another news station the following.

“It was actually a really big milestone in my life where, like, I sort of realized how I was going to define my self-worth going forward. It wasn’t going to be about how much money I have in my bank account.”

Forgetting a password doesn’t make him a bad person or an idiot, even if the password leads to $220 million.

The level of maturity it takes to realize that money doesn't define your self-worth is immense.

In America especially, having money is seen as the main sign of success. The more money you have, the more successful you are viewed as.

While money is very important, it doesn’t define who you are as a person.

That is the key lesson we can take with us.

The next time you are feeling stupid or that you made a big mistake, just remember this story.

If Stefan Thomas can put this mistake behind him, you can put your mistakes behind you too.