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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 opinion, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Jane was in college, however I texted and requested her. She stated she never saw an orange piece of paper.Wait, Carla stated. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla called the cleaning service wed used and got the woman who cleaned the home on the line.
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 asked if losing the paper was a big deal.Not really, I said. 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 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 believed. I attempted 551445 again, taking good care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried a small 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 probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had seemed. It was making me wait a few 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 whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The website stated, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memorycard. 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've got enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet out of the newspaper 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 from my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN effort, creeping visit dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and each 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 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 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 why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind was becoming 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 as though they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked from the kitchen into the workplace. 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 dumb 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 for the remainder 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 healing words. If Id lost my debit card PIN, I could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.
No one owns the bitcoin transaction network. Instead, thousands of computers around the world run software that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is permitted to install the bitcoin applications on their computer and participate. This decentralized nature of the bitcoin network is not without consequencesthe main one being that if you screw up, its your own damn problem.I went to /r/TREZOR/ on Reddit and posted:Feel free to ridicule meI deserve it.