Fortunately, there are two types of professionals to whom you can turn to recover your lost coins: crypto hunters and crypto hypnotists.
A crypto hunter is someone who searches for and recovers lost or stolen cryptocurrency. Crypto hunters collaborate with cryptocurrency holders as well as law enforcement agencies to locate and recover misplaced, unreachable, or stolen cryptocurrencies. These people or organizations are experts at recovering or breaking into digital wallets. They may use modern supercomputers to crack private keys, as well as psychological techniques such as hypnotherapy on wallet holders, to help recover cryptocurrency.
Crypto hunters who provide their services online typically seek basic information such as the last remembered private key and other possible details that individuals may use when creating their private keys.
To complete their tasks, crypto hunters employ a wide range of programs and devices, ranging from specialized software to supercomputers that generate thousands of password combinations. Some employ hacking techniques similar to those used by “regular” hackers to assist clients in retrieving their cryptocurrency.
Almost all crypto hunting services charge cryptocurrency, usually a percentage of the recovered balance, such as 20%. Prices vary and are determined by the success rate of recovery, given that many of these services, if successful, can take months.
Computer-based recovery service providers and crypto hypnotists, on the other hand, may charge an upfront fixed fee plus a percentage of the recovered amount. Crypto hypnotists also charge a flat fee per session, based on how many hours and sessions it takes the individual to recover the lost information.
Every year, thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency are stolen or lost. Around 20% of the 19 million Bitcoins in circulation are considered irretrievably lost. Hacked crypto wallets or forgotten wallet seed phrases prevent users from accessing their fortune indefinitely. According to Chainalysis, a record $14 billion in crypto was stolen in 2021, mainly through DeFi or decentralized-finance trading platforms.
But major exchanges also have been hacked, including the infamous Mt. Gox (“Mount Gox” or “MTGOX”). Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood. Launched in July 2010, it handled more than 70% of all bitcoin (BTC) transactions worldwide by 2013 and 2014, making it the largest bitcoin intermediary and the world’s leading bitcoin exchange.
Mt. Gox ceased trading, shut down its website and exchange service, and filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in February 2014. The company went into liquidation in April 2014.
Mt. Gox announced that approximately 850,000 bitcoins belonging to customers and the company had gone missing and were most likely stolen, totaling more than $40 billion (April 2022). Although 200,000 bitcoins have since been “found,” the reasons for their disappearance – theft, fraud, mismanagement, or a combination of these – remained unknown at the time. According to new evidence presented in April 2015 by Tokyo security firm WizSec, “most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the Mt. Gox hot cryptocurrency wallet over time, beginning in late 2011.”
Bloomberg News reported on January 15, 2021 that CoinLab Inc. had reached an agreement with Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy, and the Mt. Gox Investment Fund LP (MGIFLP), a unit of Fortress Investment Group. Creditors could receive up to 90% of the remaining Bitcoin held in bankruptcy proceedings.
On October 20, 2021, it was announced that the Civil Rehabilitation Plan had been accepted by 99 percent of creditors (representing 83 percent of total voting rights) and that billions of dollars in Bitcoin would be provided as compensation. On November 16, 2021, the plan was officially approved and payouts are expected to take be conducted in 2022.
But who stole the bitcoins from Mt. Gox?
Unfortunately, no one has been identified as the perpetrator of the Mt. Gox hack as of yet. Prosecutors’ closest lead is Russian national Alexander Vinnik. Vinnik was arrested by Greek authorities on behalf of US authorities in December 2017. He ran BTC-e, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which eventually went bankrupt.