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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 for a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper has been 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 really, I stated. Its just a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send all the bitcoins from 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 laptop and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I should have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried 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 consult with the 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 appeared. It was making me wait for 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 read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time proceed 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 apparatus or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I had been the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time that I collapsed, 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 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 protected password app).
When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd 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 as though they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the workplace. 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 small shuteye I managed to go to website have was full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the $8,000 that bothered 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 remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to receive my own bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or healing words. If Id lost my debit card PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.