Why You Should Keep Your Mouth Shut About Bitcoin


mouth shut After buying bitcoin, you might want to talk about this decision to all your friends and family, or worse, advertise on…

Content Why You Should Keep Your Mouth Shut About Bitcoin first appeared in Cointimes .

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After you buy bitcoin , you might want to talk about that decision to all your friends and family, or worse, advertise on social media. Do not do this.

Talking about bitcoin and arguing about technology is almost inevitable, even healthy, but what can become a problem for you in the future is not taking care of your financial privacy.

Knowing bitcoin's history of exponential growth, it's not unlikely that in the future its pockets will attract the attention of evildoers. And don't assume that encryption will save you from losing your digital assets, a low-cost attack could take everything from you .

xkcd comic
Strip from xkcd , translated by Cointimes in 2019.

The best way to avoid a physical attack on you and your digital possessions, especially if you don't use multi-signature schemes to protect your funds , is to simply stay out of the picture for burglars.

This includes not participating in games and chains on social networks that put you in the crosshairs of bandits.

Tweet deleted and later reworked from the Bitcoin Market. Avoid falling into bad privacy practices .

For educational and warning purposes, software engineer and former Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp has compiled 91 physical attacks targeted at cryptocurrency holders into one page on github. Let's see some of them.

Robberies, kidnappings and death

To steal cryptocurrencies, often worth millions of reais, criminals are willing to go far. Two of the cases listed by Lopp took place in Brazil, one died tragically and the other had his wife kidnapped.

Keep in mind that I am not writing this text to blame the victims, but to report facts and reinforce precautions you can take to reduce the chances of the worst happening.

In May 2017, the media reported that the wife of a brokerage owner had been kidnapped in Florianópolis. The bad guys asked for R$5 million in Monero and Zcash , cryptocurrencies focused on privacy.

Fortunately, the victim was unharmed and the criminals did not receive a ransom. According to Folha's report, the criminals had limited knowledge of cryptocurrencies and didn't even have a criminal record.

In a more recent case, reported in August 2021, the result was tragic. A cryptocurrency trader who showed a life of luxury on social media was tagged as an easy target and murdered with at least four shots in the streets of Rio de Janeiro while driving his Porsche Boxter.


In order not to lose your cryptocurrencies, the first thing you should be concerned about is the security of your private key (also called a seed or passphrase, often in 12- or 24-word format).

According to results from a Twitter poll conducted by Lopp, the aforementioned developer, nearly 40% of bitcoiners consider accidental loss to be the biggest risk to their assets. Therefore, there must be a balance between making it easier or more difficult to access your “password to your vault”.

You don't want a hijacker or any other attacker to take your funds, but you also don't want to make it so difficult that you yourself might forget where you buried the steel plate where you carefully engraved a code that, when cracked, would result in your private key.

Start by backing up your seed offline and consider a multi-sig arrangement if you have a significant amount of Bitcoin. After creating and testing your backups, check them out at least once a year. That's what security expert Lopp recommends.

Regarding the attackers, Lopp points out that the first layer of security should always be privacy:

“Don't share intimate financial details with others. Just as it's dangerous to go around flaunting money publicly, it's a bad idea to talk about your bitcoins. Most people are easy to find.”

Finally, according to a survey of nearly 100 recorded physical attacks against bitcoiners, most thefts these days take place in face-to-face, person-to-person negotiations. So avoid this type of negotiation or at least pay extra attention on these occasions, especially avoiding isolated places.

Read more:

  • What not to do after buying Bitcoins?
  • Meet the $5 attack that can make your bitcoins go away forever
  • Federal Revenue Service seized almost R$20 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2021

Content Why You Should Keep Your Mouth Shut About Bitcoin first appeared in Cointimes .

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