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How Estonian Bank Founder Lost $470 Million in Ethereum

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • LHV Bank founder, Rain Lõhmus, lost access to his Ethereum wallet containing 250,000 Ethereum (ETH), worth nearly $470 million.
  • Lõhmus even considered using artificial intelligence (AI) to retrieve his lost wallet but abandoned the plan due to inability to track progress.
  • An estimated 909,800 ETH, valued at over $1.73 billion, is permanently lost, highlighting the risks of self-custody in crypto.
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The founder of Estonia’s LHV Bank, Rain Lõhmus, has been identified as the owner of an Ethereum (ETH) wallet holding 250,000 ETH bought during the initial coin offering, now worth $470 million. The snag is, he lost the keys and cannot access it.

While the crypto ecosystem gives the benefit of self-custody to users, it comes with its own challenges. If users don’t store their private keys securely, they risk permanently losing control of their assets.

250,000 Ethereum Lost Forever

Senior Coinbase executive Conor Grogan informed community members on X (Twitter) that the mysterious dormant Ethereum wallet belongs to the LHV Bank founder Rain Lõhmus. He shared the screenshot of an interview where Lõhmus was willing to discuss offers if someone could help him retrieve the ETH wallet.

The screenshot below shows that Lõhmus’ wallet has a balance of 250,000 ETH, worth nearly $470 million.

Read more: 9 Crypto Wallet Security Tips To Safeguard Your Assets

Rain Lõhmus Ethereum wallet
Rain Lõhmus Ethereum wallet. Source: Etherscan

To retrieve the wallet, Lõhmus considered building an artificial intelligence (AI) version of himself to get his memories back, but canned the idea as he couldn’t monitor what was happening daily. He elaborated:

“You can spend ten years on it, and it might end up with zero; it might end up with you solving a problem, but I prefer to do things where progress is visible on a daily basis.”

Read more: Will AI Replace Humans?

Grogan estimates that nearly 909,800 ETH, worth over $1.73 billion, are lost forever. The screenshot below shows the distribution of lost ETH as of Nov. 6.

Distribution of lost ETH.
Distribution of lost ETH. Source: Conor Grogan’s post on X (Twitter)

Rain Lõhmus believes that people losing access to their private keys is a very weak point of the crypto ecosystem. He said:

“Perfect decentralization has other risks that you don’t usually think about. But it’s very common for me to lose passwords. I went to renew my ID card passwords today; if it were crypto, I’d be in a big crisis again, but luckily the police and border police work.”

Read more: What is a Private Key in Crypto?

Do you have anything to say about the lost Ethereum or anything else? Write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTok, Facebook, or X (Twitter).

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya excels in delivering SEO-optimized crypto news under tight deadlines. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.