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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not actually, '' I said. Its just 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 occasions in recent months without having to refer to 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 appeared. It was making me wait a couple of seconds before I could try out another PIN.
I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The site stated, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time go to zero again.
The thief would need to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I had been the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time I collapsed, 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 could take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember the PIN and I was being punished every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved 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 had become polluted with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop veggies 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 stand. After a time, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This important link 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 get has been filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the 8,000 that troubled meit was the pity I felt for being dumb enough to lose the paper and overlook the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the remainder 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.