I forgot my PIN: My epic tale of losing $30,000 in bitcoin

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/29/i-forgot-my-pin-my-epic-tale.html


Incidentally, $30,000 is roughly double my net worth at the wealthiest time of my life. Which was about a decade ago.


Wow Mark. That’s quite the ride. You did an awesome job bringing the reader (me at least) along on the emotional rollercoaster!


Great story! Not only for your useful account of being a Bitcoin adopter, but also for relating your compelling experience of losing access to your BTC via the orange paper/Trezor fiasco, and then for the unlikely but excellent Hail Mary of tapping a bright hacker for help with exploiting the Trezor’s old firmware. Lots of lessons learned, and now your readers are all a bit better off for your having shared them. :slight_smile:


Great writing!


Congratulations. I went through a minor Trezor scare a few months ago when I lost mine, which I suspect fell out of my pocket at work. I was quite fearful that I didn’t copy the seed down correctly, so I was quite anxious while waiting for the new one to arrive in the mail. It worked, but I don’t carry it around anymore.


So once your discovered the PIN, did everything click for you as to what you had originally set?

Great story.


Another tale: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/05/i-threw-away-4-8-million-in-bitcoin/

My exMiL wrapped a gold watch in a kleenex and then threw it away. The closest I have come is deleting my 80+ hrs of Final Fantasy VII - only one boss from beating it.

Still - even had you not been able to retrieve it at least you’re blessed enough to not need it.


I forgot my PIN

That’s like a daily event for me.


Really great story @frauenfelder - it truly was an epic tale, and the video at the end was a nice bonus.

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Great story, great ending @frauenfelder
Glad it worked out :slight_smile:

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Hey Mark,

This post is excellent. Both form and content.

You manage extremely well to let the tension grow.
Your story also shows very well how we Bitcoiners are in charge.

I’d like to translate it to French in order to use it to educate about Bitcoin.

Would you agree ? Would it break any license ?




Imagine if it had been real money.

I ked, I ked.


I came to the comments to moan about being redirected to another page to read the story (wired.com) #lazygit, but, when I read the comments, I though, “What? These are all so positive and upbeat, are they the product of a cult or 'bots?” So I relented and went and read the story. It is funny and tense, and so cyberpunk it hurts (“Jane was practicing ukulele and Japanese in her bedroom.”)


That’s a great story. Really enjoyed it. Lucky you had a Trevor. If you had a Ledger it would have been locked and wiped after three pin tries I think.

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I find it interesting that Mark says in the article that he invested $3,000, so looked at logically, if he couldn’t get access that is all he would have actually ‘lost’.

The $30,000 is potential money so long as he is not actually trying to spend it.

And yet, the stress of fearing losing that $30,000 causes him to shake so badly that he can’t perform the soft reset, etc., etc.

So, bearing that in mind - how can people who routinely deal with millions of dollars of transactions possibly have anything like the same kind of psychologies as the rest of us?

Seems to me you either have to treat it as just meaningless numbers on a screen - which is probably not want you want in someone managing other people’s pensions and investments - or be the sort of corporate shark that just doesn’t care about the potential impact of their decisions on the people whose money it is - and I don’t think we want that either - or go batshit insane under the pressure - which is obviously also not good.

As far as I can tell from my limited dealings with those sort of ‘Masters of the Universe’, they tend to be a blend of the three, oscillating back and forth between fantasyland, callousness and burnout to various degrees over time.


I guess that, when one is dealing with a multi-million dollar transfer it is rarely going to be “your money”, so some of the heat might be off. I’ve been transferring cash to relatives aboard recently and found that very stressful, as it was, “my money” :wink:


BTW: in my first full-time job, I was regularly tasked with transferring millions of dollars.

They’d stuff it into a briefcase, handcuff the case to my wrist, and assign a sheriff to make sure that I didn’t run off with it on the way to the bank.

My annual pay was a bit less than $14,000. In the 1990’s, in Aus money; probably about $10K US at the time.


Feckin’ awesome! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I used to have a very proper female relative who it turned out used to have a very shady past. She left school at 14 and went to work for a firm run by two old men. In order to keep the business running and make sure that the staff got paid, she used to send invoices, order materials, raise checks, forge the owners’ signatures, and keep the whole firm going, while cycling around the city on her young ladies’ bicycle.