Father-son team says they’ve recovered $6M in lost crypto

When cryptocurrency users unfortunately misplace their private keys or fall victim to fraudulent schemes, they often find themselves unable to retrieve their digital assets. In the majority of situations, this crypto is considered irretrievable. However, a team composed of a father and son based in New Hampshire asserts that there’s always a chance for recovery. They have reportedly succeeded in restoring over $6 million in lost cryptocurrency throughout their professional journey.

Chris and Charles Brooks operate Crypto Asset Recovery, a business dedicated to assisting crypto users in the retrieval of misplaced digital wallets. Additionally, they offer protection against crypto scams for those who have fallen victim to theft in the cryptocurrency realm.

Father-son team says they’ve recovered $6M in lost crypto

Chris Brooks’ father, who is one of the co-founders of CryptoMoon, shared during a chat with me that around 70% of their clients approach them after unfortunately losing the access password to their Bitcoin (BTC) wallets. Some of these individuals don’t have backup seed words, making it challenging for them to regain access without professional assistance when they lose their passwords.

“The BIP39 recovery seed, used by most modern digital wallets since 2013, didn’t gain significant popularity until two years later. Consequently, individuals using older wallets don’t have this feature available to them. It’s important to note that some newer wallets may require extra effort to locate your backup words if you want to safeguard your data.”

If a user forgets their password and lacks seed word backups, they unfortunately cannot access their digital wallet. However, Chris asserted that many of these wallets could still be retrieved by utilizing specialized software capable of attempting thousands of potential password combinations (password guessing or brute forcing).

If a user saves seed phrases as backup but inadvertently makes errors during copying, they might overlook a word or face issues entering the correct sequence. For instance, they may misspell a term or enter words in the incorrect order. Chris mentioned that he could frequently restore such wallets by employing brute force methods to guess the missing word or its placement.

Charles Brooks shared that he assisted a collector in recovering a lost key for a “Casascius bitcoin coin.” This type of coin is a physical representation of Bitcoin with a private key embedded in its backside within a thin film. The length of these keys ranges from 26 to 36 characters, shorter than the standard 51-character Bitcoin keys. The coin’s front displays the first eight characters of the corresponding Bitcoin address.

A pair of individuals have recently introduced a fraud monitoring system for crypto users whose digital currency has been swindled by deceitful artists. In situations where a user has been defrauded, the team explained, “We’ll trace the transaction records of the victim transferring funds to the swindler.” Once they’ve identified the scammer’s wallet or cluster of wallets, they plan to connect it with a recognized exchange or other suspicious entity. After this link is established, they will generate a report and assist the client in filing a police report.

Instead of cryptocurrency that can’t be retrieved due to a forgotten password, Charles warned that money taken in scams is typically irretrievable. The mere possibility of getting it back exists only if you report it to the police and go through legal proceedings.

“We don’t see much likelihood in recovery of scam cases. Once the funds are in somebody else’s wallet, […] you need to go hunt them down with police and gain access to their Ledger, or whatever is holding it, so we tell [clients] that there is a very low likelihood of recovery.”

In addition, some cryptocurrency users might find it advantageous to follow the trail of stolen funds and submit a report to the authorities, Charles suggested. However, he mentioned that law enforcement is currently dealing with several cases that his team has reported, but none of them have been resolved as of yet.

The team announced they’ve managed to retrieve approximately $6 million worth of cryptocurrency for clients who had lost access due to forgotten passwords, misplaced recovery phrases, and similar issues. “We’ve had quite a bit of success in locating misplaced digital wallets,” Charlie explained. “Our success rate hovers around 45% or 46% when dealing with cracked passwords, leading to a significant recovery over the long term.”

Approximately one fifth of all existing Bitcoins are currently stored in wallets that have been abandoned or lost, with their owners unable to regain access due to forgotten passwords or misplaced seed words. (Source: Chananalysis)

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2024-04-23 17:47