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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 view, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, '' I stated. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send all the bitcoins from the Trezor to 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 laptop 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 consult with the paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome screen 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 wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The website 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 burglar would have to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet from the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I had been the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and each time that 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 could take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt remember the PIN and I see this website was being punished every time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved 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 squander a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind was becoming contaminated with scrambled permutations of 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 numbers like they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the workplace. The Trezor nevertheless 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 small 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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If I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the rest of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into ways to get my 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.