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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 view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
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 requested if losing the paper proved to be a large deal.Not actually, I said. Its a hassle, 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 place 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a slight variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is absurd, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with the paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had seemed. It was making me wait for a couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went into the hardware pocket manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and also read the bad news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The site stated, 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 thief would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new device or wallet from the paper backup. (Trezor is located 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 dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time 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 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 I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password program ).
When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste 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 rack. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen into 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 little shuteye I managed to have 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 dumb enough to lose the paper and overlook the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the remainder of my life.The Hunt: 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 healing words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.