Andy Bauch, an LA based artist, hid over $10,000 worth of crypto in a digitized Lego painting. He did this by encoding the private keys in the patterns of the Lego pieces. The new Lego art pieces titled “New Money” is currently being displayed at the Los Angeles’s Castelli Art Space in California.
The twist for this art is that the purchaser of the art pieces is not necessarily the one to claim the cyptos locked inside. The art was publicly viewable so whoever was fast enough to solve it, can claim the crypto hidden in the art.
Using about 100,000 Lego bricks, private keys corresponding to bitcoin, litecoin and other crypto-assets were hidden in 7 Lego art pieces. Bauch’s aim was to intersect art with crypto, digital with physical, whilst keeping the art accessible to those without a technical background.
“I am attempting to help those without computer science backgrounds visualize and understand the rather abstract concept of cryptocurrencies and simultaneously democratizing the potential and volatility that comes along with them.”
The patterns were derived from a combination of “human and algorithm input... that reflects the physical manifestation of the abstract threat of technological singularity.”
First to be solved was the $70 and $90 artwork pieces by an unknown person. After that was the $20 and $30 artwork pieces were claimed by someone who identified as SopaXorzTaker on Twitter.
Perhaps, the most notable is UK-based software developer James Stanley, who claimed the last three $40, $50, and $60 artwork pieces.
Usual practice in the tech community when such events happen is for the hackers to come forward with a post about how they solved the puzzle. However, Stanley alone has come forward with a detailed post about how he solved the puzzle. Although, SopaXorzTaker had a brief twitter chat with someone named @candy_trips, were some hints on how the puzzle was solved were given.
According to Stanley, the pattern involved a minikey and “using one Lego brick per digit, and one colour for each possible value.” He had to manually transcribe each brick and each colour before feeding it into a Perl Script in order to generate private key possibilities.
Now that the cryptos in Lego art pieces have been claimed, it hasn't reduced the worth of the pieces themselves. However, there are no news yet about the pieces being purchased.