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A detailed guide on how to lose all your Bitcoin investments

Let’s say you want to lose your bitcoin (Bitcoin) totally, irretrievably and forever. Hey, it’s not for us to ask ourselves why. Maybe it’s part of an elaborate performance work of art, like the guy who destroyed all his possessions or maybe you’ve always been big fans of the electronic music group The KLF which is famous burned 1 million pounds on a remote Scottish island. Or your reason could be more mundane and you just don’t want your soon-to-be-divorced spouse getting their share of the investment you both know you own.

Whatever your reason, we’re not here to judge. And while we’re usually busy helping people protect their coins, it’s easy enough to reverse engineer security so you can lose it as quickly and easily as possible.

Brag about your bitcoin

If you have it and want to lose it, flaunt it. Want to get rid of that Rolex that’s weighing down your wrist? Pair it with a t-shirt, show it off in a crowded bar, then take a stroll through a bad part of town after dark – you’ll soon find yourself getting rid of your watch.

It’s the same with bitcoin. You want the world to know that you are a bitcoiner and that ideally you have accumulated enough sats to make them worth stealing. So tell them. Add Laser eyes to your social media profiles, keep tweeting those diamond hands and don’t forget the offline world too. Make sure to brag about your Bitcoin mastery in front of all your friends, family and especially new acquaintances. You never know who will be tempted to probe your defenses to free you from your investment.

Related: I Spy With My Laser Eye: A Twitter Phenomenon To Mainstream Bitcoin?

Keep it in exchange

In the early wild west days of bitcoin, losing your coin was a breeze as there was no shortage of shady exchanges that would help you lose your investment. If you kept your coins in a hosted wallet, it was only a matter of time before the exchange went bust like Mt Gox, got hacked, lost coins by getting involved in fractional reserve banks, or the owners fled with your keys (or died).

The forex market has matured significantly in recent years, with improved security measures such as two-factor authentication and even published proof-of-reserves and proof-of-custody. Don’t be discouraged: as long as you entrust your keys to a third party, anything could happen – and probably will happen.

Stock markets still go bust with a reassuring regularity. Even more encouraging is that governments are now actively targeting bitcoiners’ wealth. And not just traditional authoritarians like China and Russia, the Canadian government lately reliant Financial institutions — including cryptocurrency custodians — to freeze the accounts of anyone who donates even a small amount to the “Trucker Protests.”

Even if you have a strong password and 2FA to protect your Exchange account, you never know what other vulnerabilities you could be exploited for access and empty. If you have your coins on the exchange, relax: you are in unsafe hands.

Related: Bitcoin has become nothing but the new Che Guevara t-shirt

write it down

Things get a little trickier once you’ve decided to store your bitcoin offline in a secure hardware wallet. Or is it? Because when you hold the keys yourself, the power to lose your coins is entirely in your hands. Why wait for an exchange to go bust when you can start applying security “worst practice” today?

The secret to making your wallet insecure lies in your seed phrase, the string of words you use to generate your private key. The easiest way to lose your coins is to remember your seed phrase and then delete or destroy all records of it. A few months later, hardly anyone has any hope of remembering every word in the right order.

But what if you are cursed with an eidetic memory? Very simple: write it down. Better yet, do it twice in physical pen-and-paper form, ideally near your hardware wallet. And last but not least, jot it down in a cloud-based document that anyone with a will can brute-force access to. This is especially effective if you regularly remind people that you have assets in Bitcoin.

Inherit the next generation

This one is for those who like to play the long game. You know that phrase, “Can’t take it with you?” Well, with Bitcoin, you can. If you haven’t considered inheritance planning, your entire investment will likely go to the grave with the estimated 3.7 million bitcoin (roughly 18th… % of coins that will ever exist). is lost forever.

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Of course, to do that you need to reverse the principles above: if you really want to cheat your kids out of their inheritance, you need to make it as difficult for them to access your keys as you would for any attacker. So if that’s the route you want to take, don’t tell your heirs, don’t do it Write down your seed phrase and do it Get a hardware wallet. Even better, cut your 24-word seed phrase into many parts and store them in many hidden holes around the world without any recovery instructions whatsoever. Your heirs won’t thank you at all.

Whatever you do, just make sure your bitcoin storage and security providers don’t have a specific and robust protocol for inheritance planning. You can have peace of mind knowing that even the devil himself won’t get your wealth if you cross over.

If you do it for any reason want to protect your Bitcoin, just ignore everything I wrote. Better yet, do the opposite. But all you would do is secure your investment in the only censorship-resistant and inflation-proof store of value ever invented. And why do you want to do something so stupid?

This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Jameson Lopp has been actively building in the bitcoin space since 2015 and has become one of the most respected voices in the bitcoin developer community. Previously, he was an engineer at BitGo, developing its high-end multisig custody service before joining Casa, a company providing secure wallets and plug-in-play infrastructure solutions for Bitcoin.