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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 find a better opinion, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I asked.
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 asked if losing the paper was a large deal.Not really, I stated. Its a nuisance, 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 should 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 attempted a small 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 paper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at 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 site 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 saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time proceed to zero again.
The burglar would need to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple 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, 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 each time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password program ).
When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become polluted with scrambled permutations of PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables 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 head: 55144545. That was it! I walked from the kitchen into 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 about his night. The little shuteye I managed to get was filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the 8,000 that bothered meit was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and forget the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the remainder of my life.The Search: 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.