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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 view, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I inquired.

Jane was in college, but I texted and asked her. She said she never watched an orange piece of paper.Wait, Carla stated. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla called the cleaning service wed used and got the woman who cleaned the home on the line.

Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part 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 big deal.Not really, I stated. Its just 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 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 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 slight variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is absurd, I thought.

Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to refer to the paper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome display on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had appeared. It was making me wait for a couple of 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 read the bad news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The site said, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memory. 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 transfer your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to sneak 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 may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a couple more guesses, and each time that I failed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, which like it was now 2,048 seconds, or about 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 recall the PIN and I was being punished each time 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 why, 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 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 stand. After a while, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This 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 have has been 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 stupid enough to lose the newspaper and overlook the PIN.

 

 

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When I wasnt able to remember 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 methods to receive my 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 applications that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is permitted to install the bitcoin applications on their computer and take part. This decentralized nature of the 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:Feel free to ridicule meI despise it.

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