Several Crypto Whales Possess More Than $3B,with Some Unable to Access Their Wealth


Recent Arkham data, as reported by CryptoPotato, shows that the top five identified crypto whales—all of whom have publicly disclosed wallet addresses—hold a combined total of about $3.5 billion in digital assets. Nevertheless, some of these whales have misplaced their digital wallet passwords, making it impossible for them to access their wealth. Prominent industry figures like Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Rain Lõhmus of LHV Bank, Stefan Thomas, the former CTO of Ripple, Justin Sun of TRON, and James Fickel, a crypto venture capitalist, are among them.

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Due to their inability to access their holdings, which are currently valued at $452 million and $793 million, respectively, Rain Lõhmus and Stefan Thomas find themselves in a unique situation. This amounts to approximately $1.24 billion, or 35%, of the total assets owned by the top five whales. The only way for users to have control and ownership over their cryptocurrency holdings is through their private keys, which act as the digital signature that allows them to do so. Consequently, losing these keys causes a virtual lockout from one’s possessions, rendering them essentially irretrievable and inaccessible.

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Since the beginning of Bitcoin ten years ago, when there was little belief in the potential value of the crypto industry, many people have held these funds. For example, Løhmus supposedly misplaced his private keys, which prevented him from accessing his money. He acknowledged that he had a wallet with 250,000 ETH in it that he had earned during the 2014 initial coin offering (ICO), but he hasn’t tried to get it back. But he has stated that he would be open to offers from professionals who could help him get his lost cryptocurrency wealth back.


Retired Ripple executive Thomas, who was paid 7,002 BTC in 2011 for making a Bitcoin instructional video, also lost his money when he misplaced the password to an IronKey encrypted hard drive that held the private keys. In October 2023, Unciphered’s cryptocurrency security experts claimed they could get around Thomas’s IronKey and help him get back his Bitcoin wealth. Thomas reportedly approached two other teams, the cybersecurity company Naxo and independent researcher Chris Tarnovsky, offering them incentives for unlocking the drive, but he turned down Unciphered’s assistance. As of yet, there has been no word of these parties’ success.

Thomas, a former Ripple executive, lost access to his money as well after misplacing the password to an IronKey encrypted hard drive that held the private keys. In 2011, Thomas received 7,002 BTC as payment for making an instructional video about Bitcoin. In October 2023, Unciphered, a cryptocurrency security firm, claimed to be able to help Thomas get past his IronKey and get back his Bitcoin wealth. But Thomas reportedly turned down Unciphered’s assistance and approached two other groups, the independent researcher Chris Tarnovsky and the cybersecurity company Naxo, offering them incentives to unlock the drive. Thus far, there has been no announcement of these parties’ success.CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!

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