Let’s suppose you want to completely lose Bitcoin (BTC), irretrievably, and forever. It’s not your place to ask why. It could be part of an elaborate performance art piece like the one where he destroyed all his possessions. Or maybe you are a big fan of electronic music band The KLF who burned 1,000,000 pounds on a remote Scottish Island. You might have a more simple reason and don’t want your soon to be divorced spouse to receive their share of the investments you each own.
We don’t care what your reason is. We are not here to judge.
Brag about Bitcoin
Flaunt your Rolex if you have it and don’t want to lose it. Do you want to rid yourself of the Rolex that is weighing you down? Wear it with a tee shirt, and you will soon be free of the timepiece.
The same goes for Bitcoin. The world should know that you are a Bitcoiner, and, ideally enough, that you have enough sats to make it worthwhile to steal them. Tell them. Keep your social media profiles updated with laser eyes. Don’t forget to tweet about the offline world. Tell your family, friends, and most importantly new acquaintances about your Bitcoin mastery. You never know who might be tempted to probe your defenses to get rid of your investment.
Related: I spy using my laser eye: Twitter phenomenon that will make Bitcoin mainstream
Keep it on-exchange
It was easy to lose your bitcoin in the early days of Bitcoin. There were many disreputable exchanges available that could help you lose your money. It was only a matter time before an exchange like Mt. You lost your coins, or were hacked by Gox.
In recent years, the exchange market has grown significantly with improved security measures like two-factor authentication, published proof-of reserve and proof-of custody. Do not be discouraged: Anything can happen as long as you trust your keys to a third-party.
With reassuring regularity, exchanges continue to go bust. More encouragingly, governments now actively target Bitcoiners’ wealth. Not only traditional autoritarians like China or Russia, but also financial institutions, including cryptocurrency custodians, were recently ordered by the Canadian government to block any donations to the “trucker protests” funds.
Deputy PM Chrystia Freiland: “The names and addresses of individuals and entities, as well as crypto wallets, have been shared with the RCMP by financial institutions and accounts were frozen. More accounts will be frozen.” pic.twitter.com/iA69DbRJl1
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre), February 17, 2022
You never know what vulnerability could be exploited to access your account and drain it. Even if you have strong passwords and 2FA. Don’t worry if you have your coins on-exchange.
Related: The new Che Guevara Tshirt has been replaced by Bitcoin
It is important to write it down
If you decide to keep your Bitcoins offline in a safe hardware wallet, things get more complicated. But do they? You have the right to take control of your coins if you own the keys. Do you really need to wait for an exchange’s collapse? Instead, take control of your security today.
Your seed phrase is the string of words that you use to create your private key. This is what makes your wallet insecure. It is easiest to lose coins if you can remember your seed phrase. Then delete or destroy all records of it. After a few months, it is hard to remember every word correctly.
What if you have an eidetic memory curse? It’s easy: Write it down. You can even write it down twice, best kept close to your hardware wallet. For good measure, you can also record it in a cloud document that anyone with a will has access to. This is especially useful if you remind people that you have Bitcoin wealth.
The next generation can be disinherited
This one is for people who enjoy long games. The old saying “You can’t take it along with you” is true with Bitcoin. You should consider inheritance planning. Otherwise, your entire investment (roughly 18% of all coins ever made) will be lost forever.
This requires that you reverse the previous principles: If you want to cheat your children out their inheritance, make it as difficult as possible for them to access your keys. If that’s what you’re going for, tell your heirs not to do, don’t write down your seed phrase and get a hardware wallet. You can even cut your 24-word seed phrase in multiple pieces and keep them hidden around the globe with no recovery instructions. You won’t be appreciated by your heirs.
No matter what you do, make sure that your Bitcoin storage providers and security providers have an inheritance plan protocol. Rest assured that no one, not even Satan, will take your wealth upon your death.
You can ignore my writings if you want to protect your Bitcoin. You can even do the opposite. You’d only be securing your investment into the most inflation-proof and censorship-resistant store of value ever created. Why would you want something so boring?
This article is not intended to provide investment advice. Every trade and investment involves risk. Readers should do their research before making any decision.
These views, thoughts, and opinions are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cointelegraph.
Jameson Lopp is a Bitcoin developer who has been active in the space since 2015. He has quickly become a respected voice in the Bitcoin community. Before joining Casa, Casa was an engineer at BitGo where he developed its multisig custody service.