Let's Learn a Lesson From Peter Schiff's "Lost Bitcoins"
Well-known Bitcoin critic Peter Schiff is never quiet in his vitriolic grudge against Bitcoin for too long, and it seems like Bitcoin or his password has given him more fuel for his hatred.
Last weekend Schiff was quick to get on his soapbox and let the Twittershpere know he had “lost all bitcoins he had ever owned.”
It appears to most that the gold bug has had his wallet hacked, but Schiff being Schiff was quick to promote his negative pitch by actually “blaming Bitcoin” for the loss of accessibility.
Many from the crypto space were quick to disbelieve him and even made fun of him. “OK, boomer,’ was a typical response on Crypto Twitter.
But he may have had his wallet hacked, and although it’s no fault of Bitcoin’s, it’s important that we learn the lessons from Schiff’s unfortunate stupidity.
Gold buff Schiff loves nothing more than to castigate Bitcoin and takes any opportunity to vent his uneducated views about it, even though he owns some bitcoins.
Anyway, he claims that he tried to log into his wallet but his bitcoins were inaccessible, because his password wasn’t working. Many in the crypto space accused him of forgetting his password.
Well known Bitcoin advocate, Pomp, asked in a Tweeted reply if he had forgotten his password and reminded Schiff that his email account would also be inaccessible if he was to forget the password to that.
But Schiff amazingly blamed his wallet, saying, “I did not forget my password. Read my tweet. My wallet forgot my password.”
Ok, Peter, I’m sure you’re right [hmmm].
Pseudonymous Bitcoin campaigner, Vortex got in on the debate, explaining to Schiff that, “the software did not "forget" your password, software does not "forget", aging boomers forget.”
To which Schiff broadcasted his choice of passwords to millions of Twitter users: “There is zero chance I forgot my password,” he retorted. “I used a very simply numeric password that I have used many times in the past.”
Well, thanks for that information, Peter, I’m sure hackers are licking their lips even more now that you’ve saved them so much time. Time to strengthen and vary your passwords, Peter!
But the truth is, Schiff’s BTC isn’t lost, and wasn’t even in the wallet in the first place. After all, a wallet is only an interface and BTC doesn’t leave the blockchain ever.
What Should Schiff Have Done to Keep Them Safe?
“Not your private keys, not your Bitcoin” is the mantra Bitcoin educators perennially shout from the rooftops. And it’s so true.
Whenever you send BTC to a newly generated public key, you’ll get a private key along with it. This is basically the keys toy your Bitcoin vault, so it’s imperative that you keep this written down and stored in a few safe places.
The safest way to do this is to generate a paper wallet. You can do this offline, and although it’s a little technical, it is definitely the safest way to store your Bitcoin.
Storing them in a wallet, like Schiff did, is also a very safe way of keeping them, if your password doesn’t stop working, that is.
There are different types of wallets, but the safest type is what is known as a cold wallet. This is either a hardware wallet or a desktop wallet. This is one of the safest ways of storing and making transactions with your Bitcoin, as neither type of wallet ever connects to the Internet and any transaction made is done locally on your personal computer.
When you sign up with a cold wallet provider, you’re also given a seed phrase, which is similar to the private key, just in case your wallet forgets your password (Peter). And as the wallet explains, “WRITE THIS DOWN AND KEEP IN A SEPARATE AND SAFE PLACE” just in case you need it in the case of a forgotten password.
This is paramount for any Bitcoin user. And don’t just write it down and keep it under the floorboards. As with your private key, write it down three times, and keep the seed phrase in three safe and separate locations, just in case your first place is accidentally damaged or lost.
This is all too late for Peter. He’s lost access to his bitcoins and it’s through his own carelessness. He might not be well versed with modern technology, but he’s a very wealthy guy and I’m sure he has a very educated team of advisors around him. So, in that case he should have known to store his wallet password and back up seed phrase as well as he stores his gold account passwords.
As we know from his disparaging Tweets, he has extreme dislike for Bitcoin. Which is either an ignorant disregard for something that he simply doesn’t understand, or just a façade to help keep his wealth in gold from eroding.
Whatever the reason is that keeps Peter from supporting Bitcoin, I don’t know or care. But I think it’s important that whatever reason his password “isn’t working” we all cash in on his apathetic stupidity and master the art of keeping our private keys and seed phrases very safe.
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