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Shes been home more than a week and never said 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 part of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the paper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, '' I said. Its just a nuisance, thats all. Ill need 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 notebook and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly 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 consult with this paper. OK, its likely 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 out another PIN.
I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been 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 go to zero again.
The thief would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move 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 may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and each time that I collapsed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 34 minutes.
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One hundred guesses could 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 that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password program ).
When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to squander a valuable guess in my condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of 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 head: find this 55144545. That was it! I walked out of 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 little shuteye I managed to get has been full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the 8,000 that bothered meit was the pity I felt for being dumb enough to eliminate the paper and forget the PIN.
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If I wasnt able to remember the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to 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 own 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.