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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 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 garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not actually, I said. Its just a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send all the bitcoins in the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and put the bitcoins straight 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 believed. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a slight 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 the newspaper. 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 few seconds before I could try out another PIN.
I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers website 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 stated, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time proceed to zero again.
The thief would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and every time I failed, 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 require 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 secure password program ).
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind was becoming contaminated with scrambled permutations of 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 like they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the workplace. The Trezor still had a couple hundred seconds left click for source 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 have was filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the $8,000 that troubled meit was the pity I felt for being stupid enough to eliminate the paper and overlook 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 get my bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery words. If Id lost my debit card PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.