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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 opinion, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Jane was in school, but I texted and requested her. She stated she never saw an orange bit of paper.Wait, Carla stated. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla called the cleaning service married used and obtained the woman who cleaned the house on the line.
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 paper was a large deal.Not actually, I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send all the bitcoins in 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 laptop and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I should have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I attempted 551445 again, taking 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 refer to this paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had seemed. It was making me wait a couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.
I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and also read the bad news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time proceed to zero again.
The thief would have 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 newspaper More Help backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I had been the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.
Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and every time that 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 every time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password app).
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 was becoming polluted with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop vegetables 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 out of the kitchen to 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 get has been filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the 8,000 that troubled meit was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to eliminate the newspaper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember 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 receive my own bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery 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 globe run software that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is permitted to install the bitcoin software on their computer and participate. This decentralized nature of this 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 published:don't hesitate to ridicule meI deserve it.