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Shes been home more than a week and never mentioned 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 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 piece of paper.Wait, Carla stated. We had the house cleaned while we were gone. Ill call them.Carla called the cleaning service married used and obtained 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 requested if losing the paper was a large deal.Not really, I stated. Its a hassle, thats all. Ill have 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 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 thought. I tried 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits correctly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted a slight 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 refer to the newspaper. OK, its likely 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen on the bitcoin wallet and noticed that a countdown timer had seemed. 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 whenever a wrong PIN has been entered. The website said, The number of PIN entry failures is stored in the Trezors memorycard. This means that power cycling the Trezor wont magically make the wait time go to zero again.

The burglar would have to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to move your funds into a new apparatus or wallet out of the newspaper backup. (Trezor is based in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem 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 to heart-pounding panicI might have kissed my 7.4 bitcoins goodbye.I made a couple more guesses, and every time I failed, 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 could take 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 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 , I didnt that site have an answer.I knew it'd be a mistake to squander a precious guess in my agitated condition. My mind had become contaminated with scrambled permutations of all PINs. I went into the kitchen to chop veggies for a curry we had been 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 head: 55144545. This was it! I walked from the kitchen into 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 get 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 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 remainder of my life.The Search: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into ways to get my bitcoins back that didnt involve recalling my PIN or healing 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 applications that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is allowed to install the bitcoin applications on their pc and participate. This decentralized nature of this 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 deserve it.

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