A Biased View of Chinese Coins
Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 get a better view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.
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 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 from the Trezor into 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I tried 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits properly 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 occasions in recent months without having to refer to the paper. OK, its likely 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 couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN has been entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.
The burglar would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of 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 to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a few more guesses, and each time I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which was now 2,048 seconds, important link 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 remember 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'd be a mistake to waste a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of all 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 time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the workplace. The Trezor nevertheless 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 little shuteye I managed to get 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 pity I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and forget the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest of my life.The Search: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to receive 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.