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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 opinion, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the paper proved to be a big deal.Not really, I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send each of the bitcoins from 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 notebook 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 correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is ridiculous, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to consult with this paper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait a few seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and read the bad news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The website stated, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont 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 transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and each time that I collapsed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, that was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 34 minutes.
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One hundred guesses could take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt recall the PIN and I was being punished each time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password app).
When she asked read this 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 all 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 while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen to 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 small shuteye I managed to have was full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the $8,000 that troubled meit was the shame I felt for being stupid 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 rest of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to receive my 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.