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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 find a better view, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I inquired.

Jane was in school, however I texted and requested her. She stated she never watched an orange bit of paper.Wait, Carla said. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla known as the cleaning service married 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 crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the paper proved to be a large deal.Not really, I said. Its a hassle, thats all. Ill need to send all the bitcoins in the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and put the bitcoins straight back on the Trezor.

 

 

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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 should 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 tried a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is absurd, I thought.

Id entered it at least a dozen occasions in recent months without having to consult with this paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait a few seconds before I could try another PIN.

 

 

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I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The site stated, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.

 

 

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The thief would need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet out of the paper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back from my Trezor.

 

 

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Following my sixth incorrect PIN effort, 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 that I collapsed, 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 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 each time that i was reading this 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 squander a valuable guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop veggies 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 rack. After a time, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen into the workplace. The Trezor nevertheless 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 full of nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the $8,000 that bothered meit was the pity I felt for being dumb enough to lose the newspaper and forget the PIN.

 

 

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When I wasnt able to recall 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 methods to receive my own bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or recovery words. If Id lost my debit card PINI 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 applications that validates the official statement systems transactions. Anyone is allowed 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 in the event that you screw up, its your own damn problem.I went to /r/TREZOR/ on Reddit and published:Feel free to ridicule meI despise it.

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