Peter Schiff, the famous crypto skeptic, and gold bug, said that his “Bitcoin mystery” is solved after realizing that he mistook the pin of his Bitcoin (BTC) wallet for the password.
On January 22, Schiff explained in a tweet that he knows the pin of his wallet, but after the app was updated, he was logged out and he could not access his funds anymore. He also admitted that he never wrote down his seed phrase.
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
However, many in the crypto community have criticized Schiff for making what they perceived as a rookie mistake. When Schiff initially announced that he lost the funds, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of Binance, said:
“I can’t believe I am about to say this, but maybe “stay in fiat”?
Oh man, this is wrong on so many levels… I am not sure even a centralized exchange can help him secure his coins. I can’t believe I am about to say this, but maybe “stay in fiat”? https://t.co/LZqDhlI25n — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 19, 2020
Similarly, one Twitter user stated today that Schiff “should be the last person educating/warning people about Bitcoin. [He hasn’t] taken the time to learn even the most basic things about it!”
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
Schiff, for his part, has defended himself, explaining:
“The most basic thing about Bitcoin is that it’s not money. It will not succeed as either a medium of exchange or a store of value. What the episode does show is how easy it is to lose your Bitcoin if you are confused about how wallets work.”
“I knew owning Bitcoin was a bad idea, I just never realized it was this bad!”
The incident has attracted the cryptocurrency community’s attention to how the lack of user-friendliness in the ecosystem can result in lost keys and consequently, lost funds.
Likewise, CZ suggested his solution by saying that for most, keeping crypto assets on an exchange is safer than keeping the keys themselves.
Thus, on the other hand, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, also commented on the issue, saying that developers “can and should create better wallet tech to make security easier.” He then suggested turning to social recovery as a solution to the problem.
Disappointed at people replying to this with "crypto is what it is, it's your job to be super-careful and write down backup seeds in three places". We can and should create better wallet tech to make security easier. Eg. here's a social recovery ERC WIP: https://t.co/tuSbHhXKgd https://t.co/hCBAJKbK41 — vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) January 20, 2020