1 Hidden in Artwork, Private Key to be Revealed Year by Year

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Bitcoin artists are a talented and imaginative bunch as you’d expect, with pieces ranging from Bitcoin graffiti to classically-inspired Bitcoin paintings, while some have even hidden BTC in their pieces for treasure hunters to find. One artist has gone a step further and turned a purpose-made seed device containing 1 into a piece of art that will reveal the seed phrase over 24-years, when the owner can finally claim its contents.


All Eyes on 2044

The artist behind the project, who goes by the name Cryptograffiti, is selling it on Bitcoin auction house Bitify, where he describes both the manufacturing process and how it operates. The piece is made in conjunction with seed storage device manufacturer Blockplate, who customized an 18×36 in version of their stainless steel product, onto which Cryptograffiti punched a series of indentations corresponding with the 24-word seed phrase. These markings were then buried under primer, paint, pieces of fiat currency, and finally a coat of resin. Once a year, on October 30, Cryptograffiti will reveal the next word from the seed phrase, until on October 30, 2044, the owner can finally use the completed seed phrase to unlock the wallet and claim their BTC.

X-ray for Instant Cash?

The piece is actually one of three currently up for auction on the site, named Timechain #1-#3, and Cryptograffiti has reassured the buyers that, should he in his words “croak” before the 24 years is up, then the value of the artwork should “in theory” increase, “so we’ll call it a wash.” Twitter immediately came up with ways in which to reveal the magicians trick and unlock the seed phrase before its time, such as x-raying the piece, while another commenter pointed out that because someone else already has the seed phrase, the security of the BTC has been compromised. This might be true, but that’s not really playing the game, and it undermines the enjoyment of the artwork itself and the intention behind it. The auctions all expire on November 5, with bids already exceeding 1.