‘Satoshi’s Treasure’ game offers $1M prize but seems problematic

A prize is waiting for whichever group is lucky, or cunning enough, to search it out. A new alternate reality game (ARG) called ‘Satoshi’s Treasure’ will try to tease the world into adopting Bitcoin by searching for a hidden $1 million Bitcoin Core (BTC) treasure, CoinDesk reveals.

The game is organized by Primitive Ventures, and will hide 1,000 private key fragments all over the internet and the real world. To unlock the $1 million prize, a lucky group will need to determine where a minimum of 400 key fragments are located.

“A lot of people have joked we’re doing the bitcoin version of Ready Player One,” co-founder Eric Meltzer told the news outlet. Revealing some of the features, he said, “The game is going to have a leaderboard to show which teams have the most keys.”

The benefit to the industry could be that many people just searching for treasure will become more familiar with how Bitcoin works, and may adopt long term.

The game is very loosely structured, and Meltzer doesn’t seem very concerned with rules. “Forget about the rules, just go goddamn play,” he said.

Unfortunately, that reflects a carelessness that’s become common amongst the BTC community, and could lead to a dark end to this story.

While the game’s fans are evangelizing for its ability to push adoption, putting a $1 million bounty out there without proper protections could result in a very large prize ending up in the wrong hands. It will be a huge stain on the community if rather than going to an enthusiastic group of teenagers, the prize gets swept up by some type of criminal organization.

In CoinDesk’s coverage of the game, the dark side of the BTC community can’t be hidden. Repl.it, which is offering a BTC prize to developers of an educational cryptocurrency game, revealed:

“A year ago we started noticing suspicious activity on our platform, and we found that someone built a huge mining infrastructure to mine bitcoin. We looked into it and found it was this 13-year-old kid. … There’s a huge interest in crypto from young developers.”

While that huge interest is commendable in some way, it demonstrates just how much the Bitcoin industry needs to grow up. Rather than laugh it off and say ‘boys will be boys,’ the industry needs to get serious about the things that will matter long term to the respectability of Bitcoin Industry long term.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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