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Shes been home more than a week and never said anything to me about it.I went into her room and looked under her pillow. It wasnt there. I looked under her bed, dragging out the storage boxes to find a better opinion, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not really, '' I said. Its just a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send all the bitcoins in the Trezor into an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and place the bitcoins back on the Trezor.
Its 551445. The Forgetting: April 4, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,384I plugged the Trezor into my laptop and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried a slight variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is absurd, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to refer to this newspaper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait for a few seconds before I could try out another PIN.
I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The website stated, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time proceed to zero again.
The thief would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I had been the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and every go now time that I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, that was now 2,048 seconds, or about 34 minutes.
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One hundred guesses would require more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt recall the PIN and I was being punished every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password program ).
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to squander a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind was becoming contaminated with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables for a curry we were making for dinner.
As I cut potatoes into cubes, I mentally shuffled around numbers like they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the workplace. The Trezor nevertheless had a couple hundred seconds left on the countdown timer.
I tapped in 55144545. Wrong PIN entered. Please wait 4,096 seconds to continueI barely slept that night. The little shuteye I managed to get has been full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the 8,000 that bothered meit was the pity I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and forget the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to get my own bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery words. If Id lost my debit card PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.