April is a time for the age-old Easter Egg Hunt in Western Society. Painted eggs are hidden throughout a given area as a treasure to be found by children on Easter Sunday. The game becomes more and more fun the more children you can include in the hunting game. In that spirit, this story may bring out the child in you, as a painter turned Bitcoin enthusiast has created works of art that can turn into a small digital fortune. Now, thousands of adults, just like you, are taking part in the static cryptographic treasure hunt, with valuable Bitcoin hiding in plain sight. Can you crack the code?
Her name is Marguerite Driscoll, and she has hidden almost 5 BTC (4.87 to be exact) inside the above painting (Use this link for full painting). This is her third in a series of Bitcoin puzzles, called “The Legend of Satoshi Nakamoto.”
“Scheming the artwork, the stories, the trail is probably as addicting as playing them,” Driscoll tells VentureBeat. “Mystery has always intrigued us, art on its own is a cryptic puzzle, but what happens when we combine art that literally conceals the patterns and data that lead to money? I wanted to find out.”
This has caused quite the online sensation, at least in the Bitcoin community, as threads have been created on Reddit and BitcoinTalk about the completion of these puzzles. Getting to the bottom of this cryptographic rabbit hole is not something you accomplish on your own over a lazy Sunday afternoon. The current Bitcoin bounty total for this puzzle stands at $1149.32 USD, as of this writing.
“The response has been astonishing,” she said. “I honestly wasn’t prepared for how many people took to it. It was staggering. I also didn’t anticipate how emotionally attached people would become to the puzzles. People made friends and formed teams; there was a range of personalities who morphed into characters within the pages of the forums. The puzzle evolved into an emotionally saturated adventure novel.”
Is Driscoll just a lone savant, painting the inspired works of a cryptographic genius? Not quite. She creates these works with the help of three teammates. Rob Myers, an artist and programmer based in Vancouver, B.C.; Ruben Alexander, a graphic designer based in Massachusetts; and Matt deCourcelle, a nano-materials engineer based, like the 29- year-old Driscoll, in North Carolina.
Fortunately, there are no time limits on solving this puzzle, as Driscoll and her team work on their next masterpiece. So you so not have to have a lot of money or create products to earn Bitcoin. You just have to use your noodle.
If you want to get a better understanding of how this all works, you may want to check out the 32-page solution to one of her puzzles. This will either intimidate you or inspire you to crack “The Driscoll Code.”