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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 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 garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the paper was a large deal.Not actually, '' I stated. Its just a hassle, 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 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 ridiculous, I thought.
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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to consult with the newspaper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in 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 pocket manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The site stated, The number of Chinese Coins PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time go to zero again.
The thief would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new apparatus or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to sneak my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated into heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and every time I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, that was now 2,048 seconds, 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 I was being punished every 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 would be a mistake to squander a valuable guess in my 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 like they were Scrabble tiles What Is Bitcoin And How Does It Work on a stand. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen into the office. 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 have has been filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the 8,000 that bothered meit was the shame I felt for being stupid 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 for the rest of my life.The Hunt: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to get 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.