Rick Schwartz’s #crypto #Christmas : A #Bitcoin story

An ominous, frozen wind was blowing down hard on the small town of Boca, making even the 45ft yachts at the bay sway like marionettes; their bells chiming in a random pattern with religious overtones.

Awaken by the commotion, Rick Schwartz sat up in his bed, rubbed his eyes and looked outside the window.

On the wall, the oversized blue marlin clock displayed the time, 6:30am. Rick had slept in, but it was Christmas after all.

Rick clapped his hands twice, and the 90″ plasma TV came on, displaying news and tickers about the financial markets.

“Gold is down, Bitcoin is raging, and it will reach $100,000 dollars before year’s end,” said the warm voice of Maria Bartiromo.

“If you have Bitcoin, hold onto it for the rest of 2017. If you don’t, it’s too late,” she quipped, while dramatic charts about Bitcoin’s projected value in 2018 scrolled on the screen.

Rick blinked twice, then jumped off the bed and ran to his closet, where he kept personal and valuable belongings out of sight.

There was the registration letter from Network Solutions, sent via the US mail after he registered his first domain, LipService.com; one could see piles of archived responses to inquiries that the Domain King had received for his domain names over the years. Most of them had one word: No.

Rick pushed a stack of TRAFFIC 2008 flyers off the side, moving a poster of Márcio Mello Chaves from TRAFFIC 2012 to the back of the stash. He rushed to locate something of extreme importance, and after ten minutes of frantic digging, he seemed to have found it.

“Gotcha! There you are, my precious!” exclaimed Rick, dusting off an old, 120 Gb Seagate hard drive that was made a decade ago.

He picked it up carefully, as if it was made of pure gold, and walked to his desk. He sat it down, carefully, like a gem made out of fragile alabaster, and plugged it into the USB port.

His first attempt failed, he then flipped the USB cable over that refused to conform to the socket’s shape. He flipped it over once more, and this time, surprisingly, it went in.

“When will they fix those stupid things,” quipped Rick Schwartz. “They need to make USB ports that can plug in regardless of how you turn it, ridiculous,” he muttered.

The laptop came up, with a Domain King background image gracing its 6940×3280 resolution in full 5k. Rick made a few clicks with the mouse, trying to access the hard drive he had just attached.

A few seconds later, a dialogue window popped: “ENTER PASSWORD:”

Rick slumped in his chair, stared at the prompt and looked at the ceiling.

“Damn it, so I set a password back then, even though Bitcoin was 10 cents, why on earth would I do that,” he mumbled.

Pausing for a second, Rick entered the obvious password, “DOMAIN KING,” and hit the enter key.

The window disappeared for a second, then buzzed an ominous message:


Rick took a deep breath, knowing what was at stake.

With Bitcoin prices rising to astronomical levels, this hard drive contained the only way to access 10,000 Bitcoin. That early investment cost him $1000 dollars, but unless he remembered the password, it’d cost him the fortune of a lifetime.

“One billion dollars, one billion dollars, come on, come on! What was the password?” said Rick, his fingers hovering over the keyboard.

He was getting panicked now, at the prospective loss of such a fortune that’d lift his status to that of Croesus, bigger than even Frank Schilling and Mike Berkens combined.

“Was it my dog’s name?” said Rick, and quickly typed it in.

The screen disappeared, flashed in red, and the same message appeared. Access to the Bitcoin fortune was once again denied.

Rick started to sweat, despite the cold Florida winter that cast temperatures in the mid 60s across the Sunshine State. This couldn’t be happening, a fortune in Bitcoin locked with a password, on a hard drive he hadn’t touched since he first stored the cryptocurrency safely, securely – too securely, it seemed.

“I need to call someone who is proficient in cryptocurrency drive retrieval,” said Rick, then picked up the phone to call the best person for the task: Drew Rosener.

A cryptocurrency buff, Rosener’s brain could process passwords like a live blockchain ledger, he was that good.

Seconds later, Rick’s call to Panama was picked up. He quickly explained the situation:

“Hello, Drew? Merry Christmas. I hope all is well with you over there in Panama. Listen, I need a huge favor.”

On the other end of the line, Drew Rosener yawned, then looked at his clock.

“Rick. Merry Christmas. Do you have a fucking idea what time it is? It’s not even 7am. Ok, what the hell is going on?”

Rick Schwartz explained the dire situation he was in:

“Drew, all my Bitcoin is locked inside a hard drive, protected by a damn password I can’t remember. Help a brother out!”

Drew rubbed his eyes, then put his polarized sunglasses on; a trick he used when he needed to focus during the day.

“OK. So you set up a password. Maybe it’s Domain King, or your dog’s name. Did you try those?”

Rick slumped at his chair, then sighed.

“Yes, I already tried those, Drew, and none worked. I need a way to get the Bitcoin out of this drive, Drew, it’s going to be worth one billion dollars soon, according to the news today!”

Drew Rosener let a couple of F-bombs slide through his teeth, then gave Rick Schwartz the bad news:

“Listen, Rick. If you don’t remember the fucking password there is no way you can decrypt the Bitcoin, bro. Its blockchain is cryptographically hashed with a salt overlay that adds 2048 bit encryption, the result is 512 quintillion permutations of possible passwords. It will take you at least 800 years to crack this password. By that time, Bitcoin will be worth considerably more. Sorry bro, I can’t help you with this pigeon shit.”

As Drew hang up abruptly and went back to sleep, Rick Schwartz’s eyes lit up like a million supernovas.

With trembling fingers, he entered the two words that Drew Rosener had uttered right before he hang up the phone:


The drive buzzed, then whirred, then the screen went black for almost a minute, busy decrypting data.

Rick was sweating bullets, when the screen came back with a message:


Rick Schwartz let out a triumphant roar.

“Merry Bitcoin Christmas,” said Rick to himself.

Outside, the sun was busy warming up the frozen bay of Boca, finally sending its temperatures into the 70’s. It was a great day to be alive.

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3 Responses to “Rick Schwartz’s #crypto #Christmas : A #Bitcoin story”
  1. Anunt says:

    Finally some real entertainment on domain gang to close out the year!!!
    That was some funny shit!!!

  2. Rod Tv says:

    Then he closed his twitter account and went back to blogging

  3. Mike says:

    Brilliant, loved the USB troubles

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