Vitalik Buterin Comes to Peter Schiff’s Defense in the Midst of ‘WalletGate’

Siamak Masnavi

On Sunday (January 19), famous gold bug Peter Schiff tweeted that he had lost access to all of his Bitcoin holdings due to a malfunctioning wallet, a claim for which he was ridiculed by almost everyone in the crypto community. One notable exception, though, is Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

On 4 July 2019, Schiff, who is the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, a full-service, registered broker/dealer specializing in foreign markets and securities, and founder and Chairman of SchiffGold, a full-service, discount precious metals dealer, and a man who is extremely bullish on gold, bearish on the U.S. dollar, and highly skeptical about Bitcoin, admitted to owning Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and said that he was going to HODL his bitcoin no matter what happens to the Bitcoin price.

Then, yesterday (January 19), Schiff took to Twitter to express his anger with Bitcoin after allegedly losing access to the crypto wallet that holds his bitcoin:

Although Schiff thinks that the wallet app he was using has "somehow" gotten "corrupted" and that is why his password -- which he is sure of remembering correctly -- is being rejected, most people in the crypto community seem to believe that this is just a case of a "boomer" who has simply forgotten his wallet's password. Here are a couple of examples:

Eric Voorhees, Founder and CEO of ShapeShift, whom Schiff claims was the person who set up Schiff's wallet in the first place, says that it is Schiff who is to blame (and not Bitcoin) for forgetting his password and not making a note of his wallet's recovery phrase:

Meanwhile, Schiff insists that he did not forget his password, and he surprisingly appears shocked by the crypto community's reaction to his original tweet:

It is not clear at this point what wallet app Schiff was using, if he indeed is just misremembering his password, or even if this whole circus (which should perhaps be called "WalletGate") is just a masterful marketing ploy by Schiff in order to persaude people to drop Bitcoin in favor of gold. 

There is naturally very little sympathy for Schiff, a man who has constantly been attacking Bitcoin over the past few years. 

However, Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-Canadian programmer who created Ethereum, has come to Schiff's defense, saying that instead of criticizing Schiff for being careless with password security, we should be focusing on the fact that wallet technology needs to be improved to make this task easier for regular people:

Buterin also belives that we should be more "forgiving of people who are really upset because they just lost a huge pile of money" (even though Schiff himself is not too sad about the loss because all of the bitcoin he owned was gifted to him):

And finally, one other member of the crypto community who believes that this case highlights the need for better and easier-to-use crypto wallets is CZ: