Every crypto holders worst nightmare – losing the secret keys to his or her wallet. This remains one of the long standing Achilles heel for most retail crypto holders and investors. Although, the availability of custody services are getting more nowadays, many of us still prefer to store our beloved crypto in either a software or hardware wallet.
What happens if you forgot the password to access your crypto wallet? You would not be faulted for going into a schizophrenic mania with heart beat pumping and cold sweats bursting out of every bodily orifice.
That is unless you know of someone like Wallet Recovery Services (WRS). In an exclusive interview with SuperCryptoNews, the founders of WRS answered some of our questions which are listed below.
1) When did you start the business? What was the primary motivation?
I started the business in 2013 as a hobby. The primary motivation was to learn the tech behind blockchain and wallet encryption. Someone posted on a forum after losing their password, and I was curious whether I could figure out a way to help. After that initial success more people asked for help and it grew from there.
2) A bit about the founding team. Background. When did you get your first crypto?
My partner and I both have computer science degrees. It started with me doing this as a hobby (and a day job) and I invited a friend to join me during the last bull run (in 2017).
3) Biggest and smallest recovery success so far in terms of $
We’ve solved wallets with a large number of ETH and BTC in the past, but less recently now that they’re worth so much more. We received many wallets from the Ethereum presale.
At the time of presale, Ether was sold for 30 cents each and during the 2017 bull run, we began to receive queries for presale wallets, some of which were very large. Over 10,000 ETH. But large wallets are rare. We also realize that many of the 1 ETH or 0.01 BTC wallet we receive can be a life changing amount of money for many people so we put in a fair amount of effort on all wallets, regardless of their size.
4) Percentage of recovery success versus failure
My success rate averages at 35%. It is heavily dependent on the quality of the customer’s recollection of the password.
5) Types of recovery – passwords to wallets. E.g. passwords to MyEtherWallet Keystore file.
We support a variety of wallets for different kinds of crypto, including hardware wallets. Depending on the kind of wallet, we either need the wallet file from the customer or their seed words. We do different things depending on the nature of the problem.
- We generally try cracking the wallet using the password recollections sent by the customer. We develop our own software that is smart about the password variations it tries since brute forcing is not effective in many cases.
- If the customer’s seed words are not working as recorded, our software will try variations based on seed word misspellings or it may need to try passphrase variations if the customer added one to their seed words and now forgot it.
- When we’re not as busy on new wallet requests, we’ll go back to past unsolved wallets and try more techniques on them. We’ll also add support for additional wallet apps depending on the kind of requests we get.
6) Where are your customers from? typical profile?
My customers are from all over the world. Many will email me in their native language and we have to rely on Google Translate to communicate which is not always effective but gets the job done. But the vast majority are from English speaking countries and male.
7) How long would you take on average to recover a wallet?
Once I start work on a wallet, most of my successes generally happen within the first week of my software running on it. If that attempt fails, I don’t give up on the wallet.
I end up retrying most of the unsolved ones at least once a year as I keep adding new password generation techniques to my software and revisit past wallets each time they could benefit from the change. So some wallets are recovered after years.
8) What are your typical charges?
My fee is 20% of the value of the wallet, payable only if I succeed. Typically I extract the fee out of the wallet, myself, before handing the password over.
For high value wallets (worth over $100K USD), we offer a lower fee of 15% for the first attempt on the wallet that generally takes a week. In case the password is not found by then, it would suggest the problem is not a simple one and our fee reverts to the standard one.
FYI: In case you are wondering what’s stopping me from claiming the solution took over a week, it would be hard for me to make that claim if the password is ultimately a simple variation of one of the customer’s guesses.
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