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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 opinion, using my phone for a flashlight.Carla I asked.

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Jane was in college, but I texted and requested her. She stated she never watched an orange bit 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 obtained the woman who cleaned the house on the line.

Nothing but egg cartons, espresso grinds, and Amazon boxes. The orange part of paper was decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the paper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, '' I said. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send each of the bitcoins from the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and put 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I tried 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 refer to this newspaper. OK, its probably 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 for a few seconds before I could try another PIN.

I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and also read the terrible news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The website stated, 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 need to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based 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 effort, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a few more guesses, and each time I collapsed, my sense of unreality grew in proportion to the PIN delay, that was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 34 minutes.

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One hundred guesses would take 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 see this program ).

When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to waste a precious guess in my condition. My mind was becoming polluted 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 as though they were Scrabble tiles on a rack. After a time, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of the kitchen to 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 filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much the 8,000 that troubled meit was the shame I felt for being dumb enough to lose the newspaper and forget 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 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 PINI could contact my bank and Id eventually regain access to my funds.

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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 software on their pc and participate. This decentralized nature of the 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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