This Image Hides 70,000 Dollars in Bitcoin (BTC), Can You Solve it?
Satoshi’s Treasure began in April 2019 and features a truly unique online treasure hunt in which users need to find bits and pieces of private keys to access a million dollar Bitcoin wallet. On June 25, 2019, the community discovered the 15th clue hiding three keys inside and the chance to win $70,000 in bitcoin (BTC).
An initiative developed by Primitive Ventures and led by one of its founders Eric Meltzer, the hunt offers interested parties the chance to win a total of one million dollars in BTC. The game was named Satoshi’s Treasure in honor of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The first clue was released on April 16, 2019, and garnered the attention of more than 6,000 participants who enthusiastically tried their hand at the claiming the prize.
“Ready Player One” Hunt
Satoshi’s Treasure is a sort of “alternative reality” game in which the ultimate goal is to be able to decipher the keys to access a wallet that holds millions of dollars worth of bitcoin. The treasure hunt is designed to be played in teams, where collaboration is often the best strategy for solving various mathematical games and puzzles.
The million dollar private key has been divided into 1,000 fragments and to gain access to the prize pool one needs to collect at least 400 parts. Among the strategies, there is also the possibility of selling any collected clues.
Clues are usually distributed via different Internet platforms and require a certain level of experience in cryptography to solve them. However, the game’s creators thought to make the game accessible to non-computer users by printing and posting clues in real-world locations.
The game began on April 16, 2019, with the “Welcome, Hunters” clue, and on June 25, 2019, the fourteenth clue was released. Whoever solves the latest enigma will receive three keys plus the sum of 70 thousand dollars in bitcoin as the prize.
The key is titled “The Zero-Knowledge Key” and can only be unlocked by decrypting an image provided by the site.
Included in the clue is a suggestion that says, “Don’t be so SNARKy.” This suggestion could refer to the Zcash cryptocurrency which uses a technology, known as Zk-Snarks, to keep its transactions relatively private.
At the same time, the “Yoga Flame” key was released to please even non-cryptography players. The clue indicates geographic coordinates and a precise time in which one must go to find the private key fragment. The appointment is scheduled at 1 PM (GMT +5:30) on June 27, 2019, at Ira’s Tea House in the Northern Indian city of Rishikesh.
After only two weeks since the start of the web’s largest treasure hunt, one participant has already created a software that can help teams coordinate investigative efforts to solve puzzles.
The software is called Ordo, a Discord plug-in that helps teams organize, make decisions, and track contributions. It was created by John Cantrell, the player who solved the first clues in a few days without leaving his home.
Cantrell highlighted the need for such a coordination tool between people following similar the same theme or to delegate tasks to different teams.
“Teams need to come up with a way to manage these key shards in the most trust-minimized way possible,” Cantrell continued.
“Teams could give all key shares they find to a trusted leader, but as soon as they have 400 shares, the leader could just steal the money for himself.”
This initiative has attracted thousands of players and has served to stoke interest in Bitcoin as well as test the skills of programmers around the world.
Dovey Wan of Primitive Ventures, one of the firms behind Satoshi’s Treasure, wrote:
“Yup, this is intended so we can test the level of crazy smartness of internet people. The faster it gets solved, the quicker the difficulty level will go up.”