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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 opinion, using my phone as a flashlight.Carla I inquired.

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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 said. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla called 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 has been 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 really, I stated. Its just a hassle, thats all. Ill have 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 should have made an error entering the PIN, I believed. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a small variation: 554445Wrong PIN entered.This is ridiculous, I thought.

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Id entered it at least a dozen times in recent months without having to consult with the paper. OK, its probably 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 out another PIN.

I went to the hardware wallet manufacturers site 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 click now memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.

The thief would have to sit his life off entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you've got enough time to transfer your funds into a new device or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located 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 dread had escalated into heart-pounding panicI may have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I created a few more guesses, and every time that I failed, 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 I couldnt remember the PIN and I was being punished every time I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id saved the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure 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 condition. My mind had become polluted with scrambled permutations of 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. That was it! I walked out of 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 little shuteye I managed to have was filled with nightmares involving combinations of the numbers 1, 4, and 5. It wasnt so much that the 8,000 that troubled meit was the shame I felt for being stupid enough to lose the paper and forget the PIN.

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When 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 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.

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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 pc 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 posted:Feel free to ridicule meI deserve it.

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