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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 for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not really, I said. Its a hassle, 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 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 believed. I tried 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is ridiculous, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with the paper. OK, its likely 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 for a couple of 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 every time a wrong PIN has been entered. The website 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 need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new device or wallet out of the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins weblink goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time I collapsed, 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 could take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt recall 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 protected password app).
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become polluted 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 rack. After a time, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the office. 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 small shuteye I managed get more to have has been full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the 8,000 that bothered meit was the pity I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and overlook the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for 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 healing words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.