The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (2024)

In brief

  • The Bitcoin blockchain contains a vast collection of hidden messages.
  • Everything from marriage proposals to ASCII art is hidden among the code.
  • The messages, some containing data about key events, are almost certain to be immortalized forever.

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The Bitcoin blockchain isn't just a record of transactions; it's also riddled with digital graffiti.

Miners, and users versed in steganography—the art of hiding a message, image, video, or other data within an ordinary file—have been concealing data on the blockchain ever since the first block was mined in 2009.

As a result, the Bitcoin blockchain has become a vast collection of hidden messages, covering everything from support for protocol changes from Bitcoin’s miners to newspaper headlines, profanities, art, music, and film, together with records of marriages, obituaries, and the birth of at least one child.

This creative abuse of the most innovative transaction protocol of our times is sure to provide the historians of the future with a unique cultural artifact. Even if Bitcoin were to die, hundreds of thousands of copies of the blockchain would remain. These messages will, arguably, exist for as long as humanity, and projects such as Doomsday Blockchain and Messages from the Mines are set on immortalizing them.


Here are some of our favorites.

1.The Times headline in the Genesis block

Bitcoin’s most famous message is contained in the coinbase—the part of a block that is filled in by the blockchain miner—of its very first block.

The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (1)

It was included by the protocol’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and consists of the headline from the front page of The Times, Jan 3, 2009: “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

The headline refers to further British bank bailouts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, which Nakamoto used to draw attention to the new, peer-to-peer currency that he hoped would one day replace an imperfect monetary system.



2. The 2020 Bitcoin halving message

Bitcoin undergoes a drastic reduction in mining rewards every four years, a process known as the halving. The event takes place according to preset rules in Bitcoin's code; mining rewards are cut in half, and it’s often linked to a surge in price. As a result, it's become something of a watershed event for the Bitcoin faithful, who celebrate the event with live countdown parties.

The final Bitcoin block with a subsidy of 12.5 BTC was mined by @f2pool_official and contained the following message in its coinbase transaction:

🐟NYTimes 09/Apr/2020 With $2.3T Injection, Fed's Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) May 11, 2020

During the last halving, in May 2020, in the penultimate block, 629,999, the miner F2Pool chose to pay homage to the origin of Bitcoin, and immortalize the new financial crisis. They included a headline from the New York Times, dated April 9, 2020, which read: “With $2.3T Injection, Fed's Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue.”

3. Julian Assange: “Were fine”

In 2016, rumors that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was dead were circulating on the 8chan message board. Fearing that its Twitter account had been compromised, Wikileaks plumped for an unusual response.

The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (2)

Using several different Bitcoin addresses belonging to the organization, the non-profit published the news: “were fine 8chan post fake.” Steemit user khan documented the transactions here.

This is not the only time that Wikileaks has used the Bitcoin blockchain for messages. According to data researcher Ken Shiriff, they also embedded a 2.5-megabyte file on “Cablegate,” their infamous US diplomatic cables leak in 2010, and a message for Bitcoin’s inventor: “Free speech and free enterprise! Thank you Satoshi!”

4. Len Sassaman Tribute

A tribute to cryptographer Len Sassaman was put in the Bitcoin blockchain after his death, by fellow coders Dan Kaminsky and Travis Goodspeed.

The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (3)

“We dedicate this silly hack to Len, who would have found it absolutely hilarious,” wrote Bitcoin skeptic Kaminsky and Goodspeed in July 2011, shortly after Dassaman’s suicide.



The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (4)

ASCII art is a popular Easter egg, and Bitcoiner H. Classen’s Merry Christmas, posted on December 19, 2014, is another great example.

5. A biblical message to guard against the “Mark of the Beast”

When block 666,666 rolled around in January 2020, one miner or user evidently decided extra protection was called for and inscribed a biblical message in the coinbase.

This message was embedded in the 666,666th block of #Bitcoin

— Documenting Bitcoin 📄 (@DocumentBitcoin) January 19, 2021

The number, 666,666, the so-called “Mark of the Beast,” is associated with the Devil or the Antichrist. The message left on the block, as per biblical meaning guide Bibref, can be interpreted to mean living for the good of others, being honest to oneself, and overcoming evil with good—a nod to Bitcoin’s core ethos: a fair, inclusive monetary system for all.

But it’s not the first prayer left on the blockchain. One miner, Eligius, is famous for including Catholic prayers, which have attracted some controversy, and insults, as well as rickrolls—a practice which involves sharing a disguised hyperlink that leads victims to the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up".

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The 5 Best Secret Messages Hidden On The Bitcoin Blockchain - Decrypt (2024)


What was the hidden message in the BTC Genesis Block? ›

Bitcoin's Genesis Block Message

Another puzzling aspect of the Genesis Block is the message that Nakamoto instilled within the Block's raw data: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks."

What was the message in the first block of Satoshi? ›

Second, Nakamoto mysteriously embedded a message in the first block, which reads, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” The message refers to the headline of the London newspaper, The Times, on the noted date.

How to trace Bitcoin address owner? ›

Transaction analysis scrutinizes the inflow and outflow of transactions linked to a particular Bitcoin address. Analysts look for patterns that may indicate the owner's identity or location. They meticulously examine the size, frequency, and timing of transactions, as these can often provide clues about the owner.

How to trace Bitcoin transactions? ›

Popular blockchain explorers include, Blockchain, and Block Explorer. By entering a Bitcoin address or transaction ID into these explorers, you can access details such as transaction history, timestamps, and the number of confirmations.

What was the last Satoshi messages? ›

Satoshi's final message also adds a sense of passage: “I had a few other things on my mind (as always). [...] I've moved on to other things.

How many Bitcoin are in Genesis Block? ›

The so-called “genesis” block featured what was then a 50 bitcoin (BTC) block subsidy — worth a whopping $2.1 million at today's prices — and the message above, referring to the economic turbulence of the day when bitcoin went live.

Did Satoshi Nakamoto reveal himself? ›

Nakamoto has never revealed personal information when discussing technical matters, but has at times commented on banking and fractional-reserve banking.

How did Satoshi Nakamoto hide his identity? ›

Besides Tor and a VPN, it is also assumed that Satoshi Nakamoto leveraged a number of other ideas to conceal his identity. Nakamoto leveraged things like a free hosting company, free webmail, and anonymous webmail too.

What was Satoshi Nakamoto's first message? ›

Satoshi Nakamoto's first email

I have been working on a new electronic cash system that is entirely peer-to-peer, without a trusted third party validator”.

How to track a Bitcoin scammer? ›

Blockchain surveillance systems can collect metadata to look out for IP addresses linked to specific payments. An IP address may shed light on the fraudster's physical location when a given transaction was made.

Can you trace Bitcoin to a person? ›

Every transaction made on the Bitcoin network is recorded on a public ledger called the blockchain. While individual users can remain pseudonymous, their transaction history can still be traced through analysis of the blockchain.

How do I access a Bitcoin address? ›

You can find your Bitcoin address in your Bitcoin wallet app. Read more: How do I create a Bitcoin wallet? Every Bitcoin wallet app is a little different, but your Bitcoin address will always be displayed somewhere within the app.

How to see blockchain transactions? ›

Step 1: Go to the search field on the blockchain explorer. Step 2: Enter the details of the crypto transaction. The explorer allows users to search by different parameters like the sender's or receiver's address, transaction ID, transaction date or the block hash where the transaction data is stored.

What tool is used to track Bitcoin transactions? ›

By using blockchain explorer tools, you can easily track cryptocurrency transactions. Simply enter the wallet address or transaction ID to view real-time details like transaction history, amounts, and confirmations. These tools provide transparency and traceability for various cryptocurrencies.

How can I check the activity of a Bitcoin address? ›

By entering a wallet's address into a blockchain explorer, users can view all transaction histories associated with that wallet.

Why did Satoshi stay anonymous? ›

Wealth. Anonymity was likely the only choice for Bitcoin's creators. If identities were known, it is likely the creator's lives would be upturned by the publicity. It is also very possible they would be targeted by criminals, so it might be best if they remained anonymous.

What was written on the first Bitcoin block? ›

On 3 January 2009, the bitcoin network was created when Nakamoto mined the starting block of the chain, known as the genesis block. Embedded in this block was the text "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks", which is the date and headline of an issue of The Times newspaper.

What was the block reward of Bitcoin's Genesis Block? ›

Bitcoin Genesis Block

The block reward of 50 BTC will remain unspendable forever and the people that have sent their Bitcoin to this address will never be able to retrieve the funds that they sent.

What is the actual reward of the Bitcoin block? ›

What was the Bitcoin block reward in 2023? The current block reward for Bitcoin is 3.125 BTC and will remain this amount until the next Bitcoin halving.


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