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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 find 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 proved to be a big deal.Not actually, I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill have 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 notebook and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is ridiculous, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with this newspaper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait a few seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the bad news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time go to zero again.
The thief would need to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new device or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time 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 would require more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember the PIN and I was being punished every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password program ). see
When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my condition. My mind had become polluted with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop veggies for a curry we had been 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 head: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen into 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 was full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the 8,000 that bothered meit click for more info was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the newspaper and overlook the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the rest 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 healing words. If Id lost my debit card PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.