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Satoshi’s Treasure to add side quests on top of $1 million Bitcoin prize

Satoshi’s Treasure to add side quests on top of $1 million Bitcoin prize

A million-dollar Bitcoin scavenger hunt began only two weeks ago, but one player has already built software to help others co-ordinate their detective efforts.
Satoshi’s Treasure works like this: game organizers split keys to $1 million worth of BTC into 1,000 “shards.” A newsletter sends hints for their discovery, and the first to collect 400 shards immediately unlocks the full prize.

So far, clues have led players to explore major cities like San Francisco and London, but they’ve also featured far-off places like Uganda and Australia.
When the game started, player John Cantrell hacked his way to the first three keys within minutes. He later detailed his methods with a walkthrough posted to GitHub.
To date, Satoshi’s Treasure has released five clues. At pixel time, the latest remains unsolved, but Cantrell did manage to unlock the fourth key with relative ease.
Satoshi’s Treasure mini-games will feature instant prizes
According to Primitive Ventures (one of the firms behind the quest), the overall goal is to educate those who know nothing about Bitcoin BTC or cryptocurrency and encourage them to participate.
“We absolutely guarantee that if you know a ton about literally any subject, there will be some clue that requires your knowledge,” said Primitive Ventures. “Most of the clues have nothing to do with cryptocurrency. The puzzles are designed by puzzle experts and enthusiasts around the world […].”
The game’s designers are yet to set a timeline for the game, but incoming clues are promised to be extremely diverse, and will now be arriving at random.
Founding partner Dovey Wan also confirmed there will be smaller Satoshi’s Treasure side-quests. Some will impact the primary game, while others will be independent and come with their own prizes.
“These might be geographically localized, or require a very specific set of knowledge,” Wan told Hard Fork. “In the lead up to the main hunt we did ‘mini hunts’ like this to test some game dynamics at college campuses in the US, for example, and those were fun—we’ll do more things like that soon.”
She also explained the $1 million valuation of the prize could fluctuate. While the amount of Bitcoin stashed away is certainly set, disclosing the exact amount would reveal the wallet, which is itself part of a clue soon to be released.
“For now, just know that it’s around $1 million of value (fluctuating a bit as BTC tends to do),” said Wan. “If it goes up a lot, we won’t remove any BTC—the prize will just be bigger. Conversely, if it crashes, so be it.”
Hacker tip: concentrate on what the clue is REALLY saying
Unlike the first set of clues (which relied on QR-codes and encrypted passwords), this one involved following a link buried within a GIF.
Users were then directed to purchase a ‘digital egg’ from a web store for a little over a dollar, which held instructions for claiming the key.
While this kind of clue-hacking comes second nature to Cantrell, it’s understandable when you consider he’s operating with over 20 years of practical software development know-how, and even holds advanced degrees in computer science.
Still, those keen to participate in the Bitcoin hunt without similar work experience shouldn’t be deterred. “When a new clue drops I try to figure out what the clue is really saying, what exactly does the puzzle creator want me to pick up on,” Cantrell told Hard Fork.
“For example, with this most recent clue, the link to the GIF said ‘nothing is what it seems.’ I’ve seen clues like this in other puzzles and it immediately makes me think that the file is not the type it appears to be at first glance,” he continued. “In this case, we were given a GIF file but it ended having a ZIP file hidden inside of it that contained the next clue.”
Cantrell explained he’s spent a lot of time playing other alternate reality games like Not Pron and Cicada 3301. He noted that puzzle creators often re-use ideas as there’s a limit to the number of techniques and tools that can obfuscate information.
“So, if you’ve played through and understand the solutions to similar puzzles, then a lot of those same techniques will be obvious the next time you see them (or something similar) again,” said Cantrell.
Co-ordinating teams is going to be a real challenge
The thing is, players replicating Cantrell’s success might soon be out of luck. The longer the hunt goes on, the more disincentive there is to share keys – so you should probably learn what you can, while you can.
“I do not intend to continue fully open sourcing all of my methods going forward,” Cantrell told Hard Fork. “In the beginning of the hunt, I think most of the keys will become public knowledge and I enjoy sharing my thoughts on each puzzle, so I don’t see the harm in it.”
“I’m part of a team but I still enjoy trying to solve everything I can by myself,” Cantrell continued. “However, there are definitely some things that aren’t be possible without a team (e.g. being in certain physical locations).”
There’s also the problem of what happens when someone collects the first 400 key shards and unlocks the $1 million prize, especially considering playing solo seems borderline impossible.
He expressed there’s no simple solution for this problem. Cantrell mentioned one idea would be to have some subset of leaders in a group meet to combine the key shards and split the profits, in person.
Another involved using cryptography to ensure fair distribution, but he wasn’t exactly sure if it was actually possible.
“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.”
To help, Cantrell actually built and designed software just for Satoshi’s Treasure. Ordobot is a Discord plugin that helps teams organize, make decisions, track contributions, and solve puzzles quickly. It even has functionality to run cryptographic tools directly in-app.
You can check out Ordobot here, and you can read Cantrell’s first set of Satoshi’s Treasure walkthroughs here, and here.
Did you know? Hard Fork has its own stage at TNW2019, our tech conference in Amsterdam. Check it out.

Published April 29, 2019 — 15:54 UTC

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Bitcoin Beats Other Cryptos in ‘Smarter’ Bull Market, Says Billionaire Investor

Bitcoin Beats Other Cryptos in ‘Smarter’ Bull Market, Says Billionaire Investor

Bitcoin Beats Other Cryptos in ‘Smarter’ Bull Market, Says Billionaire InvestorBitcoin’s dominance will only be more pronounced in this bull market and that’ll show in its value, according to Mike Novogratz. | Source: ShutterstockBy CCN: Mike Novogratz, the billionaire CEO of Galaxy Capital and a former hedge fund manager at Fortress Investment Group, believes alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, will be outperformed by bitcoin in the bull market.Not this time. Market getting smarter. $btc will outperform.— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) May 19, 2019The statement of Novogratz comes after the bitcoin price risen by more than 115 percent year-to-date against the U.S. dollar, leading the crypto market to add $124 billion to its valuation.Will bitcoin continue to outperform altcoins?Historically, altcoins have relied on the price trend of bitcoin and have rarely demonstrated independent price movements in extended time frames.Altcoins typically surge in value when the bitcoin price shows stability at a tight price range, leaving investors to take high-risk and high-return options over the dominant cryptocurrency.The optimism towards bitcoin, despite the emergence of sophisticated altcoins, is well founded due to the involvement of major financial institutions in the likes of Fidelity and TD Ameritrade building infrastructure on top of bitcoin.Fidelity and ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, are initially launching custodial services for bitcoin, targeting institutional investors.According to TD Ameritrade’s executive vice president Steven Quirk, tens of thousands of clients at the brokerage already trade crypto assets in some capacity.But, traders suggest that if the sentiment around the crypto market remains overwhelmingly positive, investors will eventually explore alternative opportunities for high-return trades, which then may fuel a rally for altcoins.One cryptocurrency trader said that bitcoin is likely to climb further throughout 2019, triggering a healthy market for altcoins:The rest of this year will be characterized by rapid BTC advances, healthy corrections and periods of sideways price action, when altcoins will fly. Put that nonsense rhetoric about waiting for capitulation and still not making our bear market lows away. Wrong cycle.Full on degen altcoin season still on track for June. Next few weeks, as BTC finds a range, we’ll continue to see the popular altcoins bounce back 1st. In June, all altcoins across the board will bounce back hard. More disbelief on its way.The concern of some investors like Novogratz on the prospect of a booming market for altcoins is that many retail investors were hurt in the 2017 bull market taking high-risk trades, trading against stable assets like bitcoin.As the market matures and as investors in the market become smarter, Novogratz indicated that the appetite for altcoins could decline.The crypto market has added more than $100 billion to its valuation year-to-date (source: coinmarketcap.com)Similarly, Jeff Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, said in November 2018:Somehow bitcoin has lived in a swamp and survived. There are thousands of other tokens that you could argue are better but yet bitcoin continues to survive, thrive and attract attention.At the time, Sprecher emphasized that Bakkt, a futures market operator created by NYSE’s parent company ICE, will focus on building a regulated infrastructure for bitcoin first ahead of other assets.Sentiment is generally positiveOn May 17, as CCN reported, the bitcoin price plummeted by 18 percent within hours following an unexpected 5,000 BTC sell order on Bitstamp that led prices of bitcoin and ethereum to crash on BitMEX.The market absorbed the abrupt decline in the bitcoin price fairly well, indicating that the confidence in the near-term price trend of crypto assets remains strong.While investors have cautioned that bitcoin has shown oversold conditions in recent weeks as it surpassed key resistance levels, the momentum of the asset could prevent it facing a large correction some expect would occur in the near-term. About The AuthorJoseph YoungHong Kong-Based Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst. Contributing regularly to CCN and Hacked. Providing unique insights into the crypto and fintech space since 2012.This article was edited by Samburaj Das.
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Bitcoin’s price has pumped beyond its ‘intrinsic value,’ JPMorgan says

Bitcoin’s price has pumped beyond its ‘intrinsic value,’ JPMorgan says

Banking behemoth JP Morgan Chase & Co. has taken another shot at Bitcoin, BTC claiming the cryptocurrency‘s latest rally has pushed its price beyond its “intrinsic value.”
“Over the past few days, the actual price has moved sharply over marginal cost,” JPMorgan analysts wrote in a note obtained by Bloomberg. “This divergence between actual and intrinsic values carries some echoes of the spike higher in late 2017, and at the time this divergence was resolved mostly by a reduction in actual prices.”

To come to this conclusion, the JP Morgan team treated Bitcoin as a commodity, calculating its “cost of production” based on a number of factors, including estimated computational power, electricity expense, and hardware energy efficiency.
“Defining an intrinsic or fair value for any cryptocurrency is clearly challenging,” the analysts continued. “Indeed, views range from some researchers arguing that it has no fundamental value, to others estimating fair values well in excess of current prices.”

Bitcoin‘s price briefly dropped from almost $8,000 to $7,050 on May 17, after $250 million of long positions got liquidated on BitMEX. Since then, BTC has surged back to $7,893 at the time of writing.
By now, JP Morgan has made a habit out of thrashing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Back in 2017, CEO Jamie Dimon called the currency a “fraud” – a statement he later softened, suggesting he simply doesn’t care about Bitcoin. Since then, JP Morgan launched its own blockchain-based “digital currency,” which was neither a cryptocurrency, nor a stablecoin.

Published May 20, 2019 — 11:54 UTC

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