Have you ever forgotten your password to a cryptocurrency wallet? Well, if you participated in the 2014 Ethereum presale, you are not alone. Recovery of Ethereum presale wallet passwords is so complicated that you would need a degree in advanced physics to make it through.

But before we get into that, let’s have a history lesson. The Ethereum presale was a sale of Ether to investors before it even existed. Yes, you read that right! Investors could buy Ether with Bitcoin, even though the Ethereum blockchain had not yet been created, and the genesis block had not yet been mined.

In his announcement, Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder, told potential investors that Ether would be available in the presale at a discount price of 2,000 Ether (ETH) per Bitcoin (BTC). “The sale will last 42 days, concluding at 23:59 Zug time September 2 [2014],” he wrote. Buterin’s message was clear: “If you purchase Ether, DO NOT lose your wallet file or your password, or you will never be able to access your ether.”

The Ethereum presale was such a success that Camila Russo described it in a CoinDesk.com article as the “Sale of the Century.” It received more than 25,000 BTC from selling over 50 million ETH, marking the largest cryptocurrency sale by then. 6,670 transactions were made, and transaction values ranged from a minimum of 0.01 BTC to 500 BTC.

Now, let’s get back to the password issue. Many people who participated in the 2014 Ethereum presale forgot their password to their wallet, and the recovery process is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. To have any hope of recovering your funds, you need to have an answer to the following questions:

  • What wallets did the Ethereum foundation recommend that you use?
  • What was the naming convention for the wallet file?
  • What were the password requirements?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Recovery of Ethereum presale wallet passwords is complicated and requires a lot of background knowledge. You might have better luck finding Atlantis than recovering your Ethereum presale wallet password.

But don’t take our word for it. A DC family claims that it’s struggling to access about $6 million locked away in an Ethereum presale wallet. ABC’s News 7 reports that Art and Yuki Williams claim that even though they created a password for the wallet, the “very important JSON file which acts as a private key to open a crypto wallet never completely downloaded online.”

So, if you participated in the 2014 Ethereum presale and forgot your wallet password, we wish you the best of luck in recovering it. Just remember, it’s easier to find a needle in a haystack than to recover an Ethereum presale wallet password.