The $5 Wrench Attack And Your Bitcoin Stack

Bitcoin Magazine

Alright, class, let’s put our tinfoil hats on for today’s discussion. In today’s lesson, we are going to address surviving the fabled $5 wrench attack with our health and bitcoin stack intact.

First, some background: what is a $5 wrench attack?

I’m glad you asked. It’s actually quite simple.

Imagine for a moment that through some sequence of events, crooks or criminals learn that you are the proud owner of a handsome stack of satoshis. Whether through poor operational security on your part, or a customer data breach, or by other means, it doesn’t really matter. They know (or assume) that you own and control the private keys to a stash of bitcoin. And now they know where you live. Add in one of Bitcoin’s pre-programmed bull cycles, and now, our hypothetical criminals decide it’s worth paying you a visit. Upon visiting you, they physically coerce you to hand over your stack. Maybe they make you hand over your seed phrase. Maybe they force you to get out your hardware wallet and transfer your stash. As any bitcoiner who has been in the space for more than a few months knows, there are no take backs on the bitcoin network. No one is coming to save your ass if you’ve already transferred your bitcoin. If it gets to this point and you haven’t already thought about what you might do, you’ve lost.

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