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The Chinese Coins Diaries


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 find a better view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.

 

 

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Jane was in school, but I texted and asked her. She stated she never saw an orange piece of paper.Wait, Carla said. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla known as the cleaning service wed used and obtained the woman who cleaned the home on the line.

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 was a large deal.Not really, I said. Its just a hassle, thats all. Ill need to send each of 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 notebook and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I should have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a slight 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 display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait for a few seconds before I could try out another PIN.

I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time proceed to zero again.

The thief would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper 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.

Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time that I failed, 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 would require more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember 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 secure password program ).

When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to waste a valuable guess in my condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop veggies for a curry we had been 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 mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the explanation office. The Trezor nevertheless had a few 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 has been full of my company nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the $8,000 that bothered meit was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper 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 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.

 

 

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No one owns the bitcoin transaction network. Instead, thousands of computers around the world run software that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is allowed to install the bitcoin applications on their pc and participate. This decentralized nature of the bitcoin network is not without consequencesthe main one being that if you screw up, its your own damn problem.I went to /r/TREZOR/ on Reddit and published:Feel free to ridicule meI despise it.

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