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Shes been home more than a week and never said anything 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 large deal.Not really, '' I said. Its just 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 place 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 must 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 absurd, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to consult with the newspaper. 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 seemed. It was making me wait a few seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and also read the bad news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The site said, 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 burglar would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet from the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN review effort, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time that I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 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 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 squander a precious guess in my 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 as though they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a time, a number popped into my head: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of 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 little shuteye I managed to have has been filled with 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 dumb enough to eliminate the paper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest 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 PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.