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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 get a better view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper proved to be a large deal.Not really, I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send all the bitcoins in the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and put the bitcoins straight 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is absurd, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with this paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait a couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the bad news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The site said, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time go to zero again.
The thief would have to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated into heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time I collapsed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which was now 2,048 seconds, or about 34 minutes.
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One hundred guesses would take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember the PIN and that I was being punished each time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password program ).
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables for a curry we had been making for dinner.
As I cut potatoes into cubes, I mentally shuffled around numbers as though they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked from the kitchen into the workplace. The Trezor still 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 the $8,000 that troubled meit was the pity I felt for being dumb enough to eliminate the newspaper and overlook the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the remainder of my life.The Search: 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 PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.