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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 as a flashlight.Carla I inquired.

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Jane was in college, but I texted and asked 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 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 crap in a Los Angeles landfill.Carla requested if losing the paper proved to be a large deal.Not really, I stated. Its a hassle, thats all. Ill have to send each of the bitcoins from 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 notebook and entered 551445. Wrong PIN entered.I must have made an error entering the PIN, I thought. I attempted 551445 again, taking care to enter the digits properly this time.Wrong PIN entered.Uh oh. I attempted 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 consult with the paper. OK, its probably 554145. Wrong PIN entered.I looked in the tiny monochrome screen 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 another PIN.

I went to the hardware pocket manufacturers site to learn about the PIN delay and read the terrible news: The delay doubled whenever a wrong PIN was entered. The site 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 need to sit off his life entering the PINs. Meanwhile, you have enough time to transfer your funds into a new apparatus or wallet from the newspaper backup. (Trezor is located in Prague, hence the stilted English.) The problem was, I had been the thief, trying to sneak 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 few more guesses, and each 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 require more than 80 sextillion years.I broke the news to Carla. I told her I couldnt recall the PIN and I was being punished each time that I entered an incorrect PIN. She asked me if Id stored the PIN in my 1Password application (a secure password program ).

When she asked me , I didnt this page have an answer.I knew it would be a mistake to waste a precious guess in my 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 stand. After a while, a number popped into my head: 55144545. This was it! I walked out of 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 small shuteye I managed to have was 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 dumb enough to lose the paper and overlook the PIN.

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When I wasnt able to recall the PIN, the Trezor would taunt me for the remainder of my life.The Search: April 5, 2017: 7.4 BTC $8,325That morning, bleary eyed, I started looking into methods to receive 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 software that validates the systems transactions. Anyone is allowed to install the bitcoin software on their computer and participate. This decentralized nature of this 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:don't hesitate to ridicule meI deserve it.

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