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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 asked.

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Jane was in college, but I texted and asked her. She said she never saw an orange bit of paper.Wait, Carla stated. 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 part of paper has been decomposing somewhere under a pile of garbage in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the newspaper proved to be a big deal.Not actually, I stated. Its a hassle, thats all. Ill need to send each of 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.

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

I went into the hardware wallet manufacturers website to learn about the PIN delay and also read the bad news: The delay doubled every time a wrong PIN was entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is saved in the Trezors memory. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont make the wait time proceed to zero again.

The burglar would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The difficulty was, I was the thief, trying to steal my own bitcoins back in my Trezor.

Following my sixth incorrect PIN attempt, 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 I collapsed, my sense of unreality read this article grew in proportion to the PIN delay, that was now 2,048 seconds, roughly 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 that I was being punished each time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a protected password program ).

When she asked me , I didnt have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my 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 like they were Scrabble tiles on a stand. After a time, a number popped into my head: 55144545. That was it! I walked out of the kitchen to the workplace. 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 small shuteye I managed to get has been full of 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 paper and overlook the PIN.

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When I wasnt able to remember 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 get my own 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.

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No one owns the bitcoin transaction network. Instead, thousands of computers around the globe run software that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is permitted to install the bitcoin software on their computer and take part. 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 posted:Feel free to ridicule meI despise it.

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