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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.

 

 

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Jane was in college, but I texted and requested her. She stated she never saw an orange bit of paper.Wait, Carla said. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla known as the cleaning service married used and got the woman who cleaned the house 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 crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the paper proved to be a large deal.Not really, I stated. Its a hassle, thats all. Ill have to send all the bitcoins in 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 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 absurd, I thought.

 

 

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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to refer to this newspaper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had seemed. It was making me wait a couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.

I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN has been entered. The website 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 go to zero again.

The thief would have to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I had been the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.

After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which was now 2,048 seconds, or about 34 minutes.

 

 

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One hundred guesses could require 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 every time that 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 squander a precious guess in my condition. My mind was becoming contaminated 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 like they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the office. The Trezor still 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 little shuteye I managed to have 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 dumb enough to lose the newspaper and overlook the PIN.

 

 

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If I wasnt able to recall 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 bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery words. If Id lost go to the website 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 globe run applications that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is permitted to install the bitcoin applications on their pc and take part. 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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