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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 find a better opinion, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the paper proved to be a large deal.Not actually, I stated. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send each of 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 notebook and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I should have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly 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 occasions in recent months without having to refer to 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 seemed. It was making me wait a few seconds before I could try out another PIN.
I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the bad news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN has been entered. The site stated, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.
The burglar 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 had been the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping dread 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, that was now 2,048 seconds, or about 34 minutes.
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One hundred guesses would take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember the PIN and that 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 would be a mistake to waste a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of all 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 as though they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen to 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 web to get was filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the $8,000 that troubled meit was the pity I felt for being stupid enough to eliminate the newspaper and overlook the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to remember 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 ways to get 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.