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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 view, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, I said. Its just a hassle, thats all. Ill need to send each of the bitcoins in the Trezor into 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 must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly 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 times in recent months without having to refer to this newspaper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at 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 another PIN.
I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The site 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 burglar would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of 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 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, which was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 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 every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password app).
When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste a precious guess in my condition. My mind had become polluted with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to over at this website 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 stand. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen to the workplace. 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 little shuteye I managed to get has been full of 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 eliminate the paper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the rest of my life.The Search: 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 healing words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.