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Shes been home more than a week and never said 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 as a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not really, '' I said. Its a hassle, 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 put 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 attempted 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 ridiculous, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with this newspaper. OK, its likely 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 couple of seconds before I could try out another PIN.
I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time 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 thief would need to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got 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 problem was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated into heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time that I collapsed, 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 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 each time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password app).
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to waste a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind was becoming 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 rack. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of 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 to have has been 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 lose the paper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the remainder of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into ways to receive my own bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my link bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.