Programmer solves £35,000 bitcoin puzzle in a painting | News

The answer to the bitcoin puzzle that has won a programmer £35,000 was in the height of the flamesMARGUERITE DECOURCELLE

A puzzle that held the key to £35,000 of bitcoin in an allegorical painting has been cracked nearly three years after it was posted online.

The painting, by Marguerite deCourcelle, an American “cryptoartist” referenced Shakespeare’s poem The Phoenix and the Turtle and encoded the 52-character private key to a bitcoin wallet in hundreds of coloured flames. It was posted on a bitcoin forum in April 2015, when the value of the 4.87 bitcoin in the picture stood at £880. Early efforts proved fruitless but interest was rekindled last year when the price of the cryptocurrency soared and the puzzle was solved by a 30-year-old programmer who discovered the contest last month.

Marguerite deCourcelle divided the sequence into four-digit chunks and encoded them into flames running round the edge of the painting

The programmer, “Isaac” told the Motherboard technology website that he wanted to remain anonymous…

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