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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned anything to me 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 asked.

Jane was in school, but I texted and asked her. She said she never watched an orange piece of paper.Wait, Carla said. 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 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 garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla asked if losing the newspaper proved to be a large deal.Not actually, I stated. Its a nuisance, thats all. Ill need to send each of the bitcoins in the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and place the bitcoins 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 laptop and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking good 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 times in recent months without having to consult with the newspaper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked at the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had seemed. It was making me wait a couple of seconds before I could try another PIN.

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I went into the hardware pocket manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The site said, The number of 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.

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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 out of the paper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I had been the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.

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Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, creeping dread had escalated to heart-pounding panicI may 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 take more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her Extra resources I couldnt remember the PIN and that I was being punished every time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password program ).

When she asked me why, I didnt have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become 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 on a stand. After a while, a number popped into my mind: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen to the office. The Trezor still 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 have has been full of 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 eliminate the paper and overlook the PIN.

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If I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me to the rest of my life.The Hunt: 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 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 world run software 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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