Sunday, March 4, 2018

‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin

We are entering the era of "Trustless" monetary exchanges.  What has happened is banks and credit card companies have proven themselves to be untrustworthy. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say, that the Wells Fargo credit card fraud reveal did not result in anyone going to jail.

We should all be shocked and incensed with the fact that public trust AND LAWS were broken.  It's not enough for people to just lose their jobs.  They need to pay the penalty and GO TO JAIL!

So, that's the backstory as to why people are getting into bitcoin, lite coin and such.

But with the Trustless system, the customer takes on a very huge burden that was once given to those that showed us they weren't up to the job themselves.  The asset holder must now understand that if he fails to guard his money, he will lose it.

This is the story of one man who very carelessly neglected his asset of bitcoin and almost lost it all.  But through perseverance and determination, he was able to exploit a flaw in the hardware wallet to retrieve his BTC.

I went into her room and looked under her pillow. It wasn’t there. I looked under her bed, dragging out the storage boxes to get a better view, using my phone as a flashlight.

“Carla?” I asked. “Did you see that orange piece of paper with my bitcoin password on it? I can’t find it in Jane’s room.”

“Maybe Jane put it in her desk,” she said. Jane was in school, but I texted and asked her. She said she never saw an orange piece of paper.

“Wait,” Carla said. “We had the house cleaned while we were gone. I’ll call them.”

Carla called the cleaning service we’d used and got the woman who cleaned the house on the line. She told Carla that she did indeed remember finding the orange piece of paper.

“Where is it?” Carla asked.

“I threw it away.”

I knew the garbage had already been collected, but I put on a pair of nitrile gloves and went through the outside trash and recycling bins anyway. 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 paper was a big deal.

“Not really,” I said. “It’s just a hassle, that’s all. I’ll have to send all the bitcoins from the Trezor to an online wallet, reinitialize the Trezor, generate a new word list, and put the bitcoins back on the Trezor. It would only be bad if I couldn’t remember my PIN, but I know it. It’s 551445.”
But....it wasn't the right password.

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