The decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies like Qoin can be a blessing and a curse for users. On one hand, blessings come through cutting out the middleman, and their fees and business costs. On the other, merchants are wholly responsible for ensuring their funds are secure and safe.
Some merchants have either misplaced or forgotten the seed phrases which act as a “key” to unlock their Qoin Wallets—resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars in Qoin, and an inability to do business.
Merchants’ tales of wallet woes
The following are some examples from merchants who have forgotten seed phrases – or even lost phones storing mobile Qoin Wallets. For privacy reasons, we have changed their names.
“Sally” runs an online store dealing in Qoin. She says she wrote her seed phrase down in a really unclear way.
“I had over 4,000 Qoin that I earned through the referral programs and selling some items online. Then I dropped my phone into the pool when I took my kids swimming,” she says.
“I spoke to the agent and we tried everything to recover my data on the phone. When I went back to my seed phrase I couldn’t read some of the words. I keep trying to recover the seed phrase every day. I feel silly about the whole thing.”
“Dan” runs a food business in a major city. He was one of the earliest adopters of Qoin and had referred over 20 businesses in the early days.
“Due to the great referral program, I was fortunate enough to make a lot of Qoin. Unfortunately, I never took seed phrases seriously. The worst part was I wrote the seed phrase down and left the piece of paper on the lounge room coffee table. My flatmate tidied the space and the paper is gone for good. We searched everywhere.”
Dan says he set up a second wallet and made sure he noted the seed phrase in three different locations.
Why your seed phrase is important
If you lose your seed phrase, you lose all access to your Qoin Wallet—and your Qoin. You can’t transfer your wallet to a new device and there is no way to refund or transfer your Qoin.
The three-stage process for setting up a Qoin Wallet is explicit about the importance of keeping seed phrases secure. It recommends writing the auto-generated 12-letter phrase down and storing it offline in three separate locations.
And, according to merchant “Peter”, the details matter. As he found out.
In April Peter purchased Qoin worth $25,000. He had used some of his Qoin for projects around the house, but still had a sizable sum left.
“Sometime in July, I changed my phone. When I was trying to import my wallet, the words just didn’t work,” he says.
“I tried all my combinations. I was almost certain that I had written down the words correctly. I panicked and called my Qoin agent.”
His 12-word seed phrase contained the word “color”, but Peter had copied it down as “colour”—a vital difference.
“I had written the British spelling but the seed phrase had the American spelling!”
Luckily, his agent noticed the simple error or Peter says his remaining Qoin would have been lost forever. Instead he was able to retrieve his old wallet and the Qoin it contained.
Peter has since discarded his old wallet and uses a new one, coupled with a fresh seed phrase!