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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 get a better opinion, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I asked.
Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange piece of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper was a large deal.Not actually, '' I said. Its just a nuisance, thats all. Ill have to send each of 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits correctly 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 refer to the 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 into the hardware wallet manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the bad news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN has been entered. The website stated, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.
The thief would have to click now sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet from the paper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.
After my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping terror had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and each time I failed, 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 that 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 secure password program ).
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 had been making for dinner.
As I cut potatoes into cubes, I mentally shuffled around numbers as though they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a while, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen to the office. 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 little shuteye I managed to get was filled with 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 newspaper and overlook the PIN.
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When I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the remainder of my life.The Search: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into ways to receive my bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or healing words. If Id lost my debit card PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.