Austin wright column_ the locksmith who cracked into bitcoin _ their opinion _ richmond.com bitcoin register

It sat under my bed, unopened, for a little over four years, until I decided to change career fields and began applying for jobs. That’s when it hit me: my new employer would need to see my social security card. And my social security card was in the safe.

I called a locksmith.

The locksmith arrived at my condo the next afternoon. As he examined the safe, we struck up a conversation. He was from pakistan and had immigrated to the united states as a teenager. He now appeared to be in his early 20s. His uncle was a locksmith, which was how he got interested in the trade. He had no office and made house calls only, traveling around northern virginia in his truck.

I asked him what was the toughest lock he’d ever cracked, and he told me about a large safe at a local bank.

The safe’s electric locking mechanism had broken.Bitcoin register the bank called him and several other locksmiths, who all tried to fix it with no luck. The bank ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars, he said, on tools tipped with diamond, the only material hard enough to pierce the safe’s cobalt plates.

“what was in the safe?” I asked.

“papers,” the locksmith said. “probably a will or something.” he then looked back down at my safe. “what’s in here?”

I instinctively named the one thing from the safe that I actually needed: my social security card. This elicited a smile from the locksmith as he pulled out his lock-picking tools and began inserting them into the lock. We continued our conversation while he turned and twisted with one tool after another.

The locksmith, who was not a U.S. Citizen, said it was funny I mentioned my social security card, because he had recently gotten one himself.Bitcoin register what prompted him, he said, was that he needed a social security number to register for a bitcoin exchange in europe. Since being approved for the exchange, he said, he’d been investing most of his savings in bitcoin. He didn’t trust the dollar. He said he believed all the money the federal reserve was pumping into the economy would eventually catch up to us through runaway inflation. “the crash is coming,” he said ominously.

Just then, my safe popped open.

I retrieved my social security card, shook his hand, paid him $75, and we wished each other well.

This was about eight months ago, when a single bitcoin was going for about $1,300. Since then, bitcoin has shot up above $19,000. This means that if the locksmith had invested the entire $75 that I paid him, it would now be worth over $1,000. Another hypothetical: say the locksmith had earned a total of $50,000 in the previous year and managed to invest half of it in bitcoin.Bitcoin register that $25,000 would now be worth roughly $365,000 — and possibly more depending on when he got in.

It’s the american dream, now measured not in U.S. Dollars but in global cryptocurrency.

After the locksmith left, I examined my valuables and knick-knacks, now accessible to me for the first time in more than four years. I picked up some of my grandfather’s old coins. There were a few indian head pennies from the early 1900s. There was a buffalo nickel with the date faded off. And there was a $1 bill from 1957 that says it can be redeemed for silver.

What are they worth?

It sat under my bed, unopened, for a little over four years, until I decided to change career fields and began applying for jobs. That’s when it hit me: my new employer would need to see my social security card. And my social security card was in the safe.Bitcoin register

I called a locksmith.

The locksmith arrived at my condo the next afternoon. As he examined the safe, we struck up a conversation. He was from pakistan and had immigrated to the united states as a teenager. He now appeared to be in his early 20s. His uncle was a locksmith, which was how he got interested in the trade. He had no office and made house calls only, traveling around northern virginia in his truck.

I asked him what was the toughest lock he’d ever cracked, and he told me about a large safe at a local bank. The safe’s electric locking mechanism had broken. The bank called him and several other locksmiths, who all tried to fix it with no luck. The bank ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars, he said, on tools tipped with diamond, the only material hard enough to pierce the safe’s cobalt plates.Bitcoin register

“what was in the safe?” I asked.

“papers,” the locksmith said. “probably a will or something.” he then looked back down at my safe. “what’s in here?”

I instinctively named the one thing from the safe that I actually needed: my social security card. This elicited a smile from the locksmith as he pulled out his lock-picking tools and began inserting them into the lock. We continued our conversation while he turned and twisted with one tool after another.

The locksmith, who was not a U.S. Citizen, said it was funny I mentioned my social security card, because he had recently gotten one himself. What prompted him, he said, was that he needed a social security number to register for a bitcoin exchange in europe. Since being approved for the exchange, he said, he’d been investing most of his savings in bitcoin.Bitcoin register he didn’t trust the dollar. He said he believed all the money the federal reserve was pumping into the economy would eventually catch up to us through runaway inflation. “the crash is coming,” he said ominously.

Just then, my safe popped open.

I retrieved my social security card, shook his hand, paid him $75, and we wished each other well.

This was about eight months ago, when a single bitcoin was going for about $1,300. Since then, bitcoin has shot up above $19,000. This means that if the locksmith had invested the entire $75 that I paid him, it would now be worth over $1,000. Another hypothetical: say the locksmith had earned a total of $50,000 in the previous year and managed to invest half of it in bitcoin. That $25,000 would now be worth roughly $365,000 — and possibly more depending on when he got in.Bitcoin register

It’s the american dream, now measured not in U.S. Dollars but in global cryptocurrency.

After the locksmith left, I examined my valuables and knick-knacks, now accessible to me for the first time in more than four years. I picked up some of my grandfather’s old coins. There were a few indian head pennies from the early 1900s. There was a buffalo nickel with the date faded off. And there was a $1 bill from 1957 that says it can be redeemed for silver.

What are they worth?