The crypto industry has had a chequered history- containing the positives and negatives just like an electric charge. From crypto scams to hacks and lost bitcoins, cryptocurrency enthusiasts have witnessed them all.
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A US-based firm is dangling the hope of recovering lost and long-forgotten passwords or private keys to digital wallets containing varying amounts of Bitcoin before the victims. Operating under the business name Crypto Asset Recovery, Chris and Charlie Brooks, both father and son based in New Hampshire, US, have highlighted the possibility of recovering Bitcoins, which may have been thought to be lost forever.
Chris and his son claim to specialize in recovering lost crypto assets. According to reports, they have recorded successes in their Crypto Asset Recovery business, with the recent one being the recovery of $250,000 worth of crypto from a digital wallet.
However, being a business for both father and son, every recovery comes at quite a huge cost- 20% commission for every successful recovery. The Brooks partners also claim that they have had a wide spectrum of clients.
“We get a really broad spectrum of clients. We have a client who is an early-stage miner in bitcoin who lost all of his information and he knows he’s got some bitcoins somewhere … We get clients who were told in 2017 to buy into the hype-bubble and they bought USD 1,000 [worth of BTC] and they are looking for something to cover the rent,”
After studying a thread on a Bitcoin-focused site (BitcoinTalk forum), Chris and his son realized from about 72 posts that at least 0.5 BTC had been lost. According to their analysis, 14% of these can be recovered. Relying on their expertise, they noted that 35% of the passwords to the wallets holding these assets can also be deciphered. Summarily, 2.5% of the lost Bitcoins are recoverable.
In light of a recent survey, several crypto holders who forget their passwords at some point have been able to recollect them and gain access to their crypto assets again. The survey conducted by Cryptovantage polled the views of 1021 respondents in the US, 39.7% of whom admitted that they had once forgotten the passwords to their crypto wallets. However, 95.6% revealed regaining access to their wallets.
Amid the increase in businesses offering recovery services like Chris and Charlie Brooks, David Veksler of walletrecovery.info has cautioned that there are numerous recovery scams. He gave a hint on how to identify them. First, they ask for a non-refundable upfront payment whether the recovery process is successful or not. Secondly, they make unrealistic promises.
Meanwhile, between 3 and 4 million bitcoins valued at $182 billion have been reportedly lost by their owners due to losing their private keys. This includes those who died with their Bitcoin holdings without informing the third party about the fortune in their possession. The 20 BTC reportedly lost in the latest episode of ‘Lost Bitcoins’ by a South African electrical engineer named Mark Michaels is also included.