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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 view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper was a big deal.Not actually, I said. Its a hassle, 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 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 laptop and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits correctly 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 consult with this paper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait for a few seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The website 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 burglar would need 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 paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem 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 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, which 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 I was being punished every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my browse around here 1Password application (a secure 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 contaminated with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables for a curry we had been making for dinner.
As I cut potatoes into cubes, I mentally shuffled around additional resources numbers as though they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the office. The Trezor still 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 night. The small shuteye I managed to have has been 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 shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and overlook the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to 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 recovery words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.