Crypto puzzles are gaining in popularity, but what are some of the memorable community challenges you should know about?
From 300+ Bitcoin giveaways to smaller, simpler challenges, these stunning pieces of art illustrate the generous side of the crypto community.
1. The 310 Bitcoin Challenge
Status: Partially solved
Time to completion: Eight days
Total reward: 310 BTC
This challenge is possibly the most generous of crypto puzzles as of late. Early cryptocurrency adopter and Reddit user bitcoin-challenge created this challenge as a fun event for the community. Through the 310 Bitcoin Challenge Reddit post and accompanying challenge website, this anonymous person or persons shared their unique artwork and contest rules.
Embedded within an original piece of black and white artwork are the access codes to four Bitcoin wallets. While the three minor wallets contain small sums of less than one Bitcoin each, the fourth wallet contains 310 Bitcoins. While the big prizes are no longer available, there is still a wallet containing 0.31 Bitcoins waiting for discovery (at the time of writing).
This kind-hearted Redditor shared their creation with the community on October 2nd, 2018, and within eight days, the vast majority of the funds went. While the author has big plans for future puzzles and giveaways, they have become disheartened lately thanks in part to a large amount of hate mail, most likely from people angry they were not able to solve the puzzle first. If you enjoyed this challenge, why not send a thank-you note over on Reddit?
2. TORCHED H34R7S
Time to completion: Three years
Total reward: 4.87 BTC
This odd looking, flaming chess board is another steganography puzzle. Announced on April 3rd, 2015, this puzzle contains 4.87 Bitcoins. Twitter user Marguerite deCourcelle teamed up with artist and developer Rob Myers to produce this Twitter Bitcoin giveaway. It took three years for somebody to crack the code and release the funds, and the author believes this is partially due to the dip in interest in Bitcoin when the price crashed shortly after the puzzle launched.
This puzzle was eventually solved by a Ph.D. student who chose to keep their identity a secret. Despite three years passing between the creation and solving of this puzzle, it only took this student one month to crack the code. The author encoded the key to this puzzle in the flames around the edges, and in the ribbon tied around one of the keys depicted.
Inspired by The Phoenix and the Turtle, a William Shakespeare poem, a turtledove and Phoenix are both subjects of the artwork. This poem is significant for this artist. She says “…was important to me because events flipped my life upside down and I created this piece at rock bottom”. She created this artwork at the bottom of a tough bear market for Bitcoin, and these 4.87 Bitcoins represented roughly half of everything she owned. Now that’s dedication.
3. 1 BTC Is Hidden in This Puzzle
Time to completion: N/A
Total reward: 1 BTC
In June 2018, Reddit user u/cryptogreetings shared a new puzzle to the r/Bitcoin subreddit. Stating nothing more than “1 BTC is hidden in this puzzle. Good luck!”, this mysterious artist created fresh enthusiasm for the Bitcoin community. While this artwork is also an example of steganography, it consists of words from the Bitcoin whitepaper, with the Bitcoin logo superimposed in a contrasting color.
While this author may have started this puzzle with the best of intentions, they didn’t end it on the best of terms with the community. Roughly eight months after launching the contest, the author ended the competition by withdrawing the prize money. They claimed they received “a growing number of public complaints – and the private complaints I have been receiving were bordering on harassment”.
While harassing someone providing a free service is never a good idea, the author isn’t without blame. Upon closure, the author never revealed the actual solution, leading many to speculate that there never was a solution, and the whole event was a scam to pull in donations and sell artwork. Whatever the real reason for exiting, this artist left the community on bad terms.
4. Liberty Leading the People 2019
Time to completion: Seven days
Total reward: 0.26 BTC
Twitter user and artist Pascal Boyart created this Bitcoin puzzle with a difference in January 2019. In his treasure hunt tweet, Pascal shares the mural he painted on a Paris wall in celebration of Bitcoin’s tenth birthday. The author states “To solve the puzzle entirely, you must be physically in front of the mural”. Within seven days, an anonymous person or persons claimed the prize.
Through the Bitcoin wallet address included alongside this artwork, many people donated not only to the prize fund but towards the ongoing work of the artist himself. One person donated over $4000 in one transaction.
Inspired by the Paris yellow jacket protests in 2019, it’s not the first time Pascal has created blockchain inspired artwork. This artist has created several pieces of work in a blockchain series, including a run of prints in the style of newspapers, and portraits of prominent crypto community members and memes made from dollar bills. Learn more at pboy-art.com.
Find Unsolved Crypto Puzzles!
While these puzzles are almost all solved, there’s no reason you can’t join in the fun on an active puzzle.
Reddit is the best place to find new puzzles. The r/bitcoinpuzzles subreddit is a good place to start, although there are few members in that community. Often, the r/Bitcoin and r/ethereum communities share popular puzzles as they come up.
Many of these puzzles revolve around cryptography and the technology underpinning most cryptocurrencies. Having an in-depth knowledge of this may help you in finding a solution. If you’re not sure where to start, our Blockchain guide covers the basics.