Peter Schiff’s missing BTC has been one of the more amusing episodes of the year so far, and the mystery has finally been solved. Dear old Peter, after criticizing Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency supporters in general, revealed that his wallet did not get “corrupted somehow”, but instead he mistook his wallet pin for his password and failed to note his seed phrase. This has left his wallet completely inaccessible and has consigned more BTC to the trash bin of irretrievability.
My #Bitcoin mystery is solved. I mistook my pin for my password. When Blockchain updated their app I got logged out. I tired logging back in using my pin, which was the only “password” I had ever known or used. I also never had a copy of my seed phrase. Honest but costly mistake!
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) January 23, 2020
Schiff Blames the House for Losing his Keys
Schiff, who has long lambasted Bitcoin for both its concept and execution, initially took to Twitter on January 19 to lament a sudden inability to access to his Bitcoin wallet, saying that his password was “no longer valid” and that his BTC holding was now effectively worth nothing because he could no longer access it.
Schiff’s complaint led to a number of highly skeptical posts from those who believed that Schiff has instead either confused his password with his private key or simply forgotten his password, mainly because wallets don’t suddenly corrupt themselves:
If you locked your gold in an impenetrable safe and forgot the combination, would you blame the gold?
Would you blame the safe?
You’d blame yourself.
This is no different.
You are a shining example of Bitcoin’s greatest strength.
A reliance on personal responsibility.
— Chris Blec (@ChrisBlec) January 19, 2020
Schiff Fesses Up
Schiff fanned the flames over the following days by railing against the “computer glitch” that supposedly corrupted his wallet and complaining that “my ship sank before Bitcoin”. He was also very clear to remind everyone that he couldn’t possibly forget his password because it was the same one he had used many times before, which is a whole other issue that this article simply doesn’t have time to address.
After days of reveling in his chance to bash Bitcoin, Schiff today has an entire barnyard’s worth of egg on his face after admitting that he “mistook my pin for my password”, adding that because he “never knew” his password and failed to make a note of the seed phrase, the BTC is now lost for good. This led to a number of witty and acerbic takes on the case:
With all due respect, this whole episode goes to show you should be the last person educating / warning people about Bitcoin. You haven’t taken the time to learn even the most basic things about it!
— Adam Barlow (@adam_barlow) January 23, 2020
Yes, we knew that.
We told you that.
Now you know that.
— Crypto Entropy (@Crypt0Entropy) January 23, 2020
Yes, it is commendable. But his constant attempts to trash bitcoin along the way whatever chance he gets leaves me with no sympathy or respect for the guy.
— Adam [Jan/3➞₿?∎] (@Bitcoin_Gyp) January 23, 2020
Schiff’s Plan Backfires
Such an admission would perhaps have been forgivable for someone who didn’t know what they were doing, but for someone like Schiff, who used his own failures as an opportunity to further his agenda against Bitcoin, it is a deeply ironic ending to a case that illustrates that it is important to understand the principle behind Bitcoin – you are responsible for your own money, so do your own due diligence first.