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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.
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 newspaper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, '' I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send all the bitcoins in the Trezor to 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 thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits correctly 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 refer to this paper. OK, its likely 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 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 site stated, 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 thief would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have 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 had been the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and each time 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 recall the PIN and that 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 view website secure password program ).
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 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 rack. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the office. The Trezor nevertheless 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 Website 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 bothered meit was the pity I felt for being stupid enough to lose the newspaper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the remainder of my life.The Search: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into ways to get my 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.