Loose change found in a backup

Spare change ©Darren Fisher Dreamstime.com

JISHOU, HUNAN — You know that nice feeling you get when you reach into a pocket and find a $20 bill you’d forgotten all about? Imagine it happening while you’re rooting around a computer backup file.

I’ve been dabbling in cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, since 2013. At the beginning, I was pretty much at sea, and in any event it was hard to see which of the several cryptocoins back then would really catch on.

Then, as now, I had small caches of Bitcoin and Litecoin on my computer. But I also had even smaller amounts of two other lesser known tokens, Namecoin and Peercoin. Neither of these seemed to be catching on, so over time I just forgot about them.

Day before yesterday, a friend asked me if I could send her some photos I took in 2015. This required me to hunt through my backup drive for the pics. After I found the photos and emailed them, I decided to poke around my backups a little more.

Scrolling through the list of program files, I came across Namecoin and Peercoin wallets. Hey, I asked myself, I wonder if there’s any money still in those wallets? Really, I had no idea.

To make a long story short (since the technical details are kinda boring), I still had a scotch over 3 NMC (Namecoin) worth about $2.50 and a bit more than 10 PPC (Peercoin) worth about $8. Not quite the same as finding President Jackson in my hip pocket but still a pleasant surprise.

Whatsa the password? Itsa notta swordfish.

Except for one tiny problem.

The Peercoin wallet is locked and encrypted with a passphrase that naturally I have completely forgotten after three years. Whoops!

And if I wrote it down in a notebook, it was probably in one that I chucked out last summer while cleaning house.

I was able to close out the Namecoin wallet, but that $8 is smirking at me. So close and yet so far. I’ll keep trying, but I figure that $8 will remain a set of 0’s and 1’s forever out of my grasp.

Moral of the story: Hard drive backups are a necessity. So are paper backups of organic memory. Write that one down for later reference.

—-
Hey, buddy can you spare a dime?

We accept Bitcoin and PayPal. Thx

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Also published on Medium.

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