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Arkham’s latest data revealed that the top five identified crypto whales with publicly known wallet addresses collectively hold approximately $3.5 billion in digital assets.

A few sit on a digital treasure trove but have no way to access it.

Locked Out of Crypto Fortune

This list features some of the most prominent names in the industry, with figures like TRON’s Justin Sun, LHV Bank’s Rain Lõhmus, Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, German-born programmer and former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas, and crypto venture capitalist James Fickel standing at the forefront.

However, a significant portion of this wealth is currently inaccessible. Rain Lõhmus and Stefan Thomas find themselves in a peculiar position, unable to tap into their massive holdings due to lost passwords to their digital wallets. Their stash currently stands at around $793 million and $452 million, respectively. That’s around 35% or $1.24 billion of the total holdings of the top five identified whales.

Private keys serve as the digital signature that grants access to users’ crypto holdings. It essentially acts as the sole means of control and ownership over that fund, and hence, their loss equates to a virtual lockout from one’s assets, rendering them effectively inaccessible and irretrievable.

Numerous individuals have possessed these funds since the inception of Bitcoin ten years ago, a time when there was little confidence that the crypto industry could hold any significant value.

Lõhmus, for one, allegedly misplaced his private keys, which left him unable to access the funds. He even admitted to owning a wallet containing 250,000 ETH, a sum he raked in during ICO 2014, but had not put any effort into retrieving it.

During an interview, the founder of the Estonian bank had expressed willingness to consider offers from experts who might assist him in reclaiming his lost cryptocurrency wealth.

Irony in IronKey: Even Ripple’s Ex-CTO Can’t Crack Vault

Former Ripple executive Thomas received 7,002 BTC in 2011 as payment for creating an educational video about Bitcoin, only to later lose access to the funds after forgetting the password to an IronKey encrypted hard drive containing the private keys the same year.

A major breakthrough came in the form of crypto security experts at Unciphered, who offered potential assistance in October 2023, claiming they could bypass Thomas’s IronKey and help him regain access to his Bitcoin fortune. However, Thomas declined Unciphered’s help and instead reportedly engaged two other teams – cybersecurity firm Naxo and independent researcher Chris Tarnovsky – offering them rewards for unlocking the drive.

There’s been no news of success from these parties so far.

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