Bitcoin wallet cracking competition unbeaten as seed words revealed
Wallet provider, Wasabi Wallet, launched an educational Bitcoin competition on Jan. 23, asking people to ‘crack’ the seed phrase of a wallet loaded with over 4 million Sats.
The project, titled ‘Hunting Sats,’ is backed by Swan Bitcoin, Trezor, Blockstream, and several other respected companies in the Bitcoin space. First, a Bitcoin wallet was generated utilizing a 12-word BIP-39 seed phrase. The words were then distributed among the partners, with a new word to be revealed daily.
The event aims to shed light on the nature of crypto account security in a practically transparent way. The chance of anyone guessing the wallet’s seed phrase is virtually zero due to the cryptography involved. However, showcasing this to the world through a ‘cracking’ competition is a novel method of education.
To further demonstrate the security of private keys, as more words from the seed phrase are revealed, the weaker it becomes.
There have been plenty of similar competitions on Reddit and other platforms. This latest one has a solid list of partners collaborating to promote healthy wallet security.
As of press time, four words have been revealed, blast, hollow, state, and monkey. More words will be released by the end of the competition on Jan. 30. The Hunting Stats website explains the motivation behind the campaign.
“As bitcoiners, we wanted to organize a fun game to start 2023 on a high beat with projects and companies we respect and use every day. Bitcoin security and privacy are essential and we hope Hunting Sats can bring together bitcoiners who care about these principles.”
The campaign is rooted in difficulty comprehending how secure a Bitcoin private key is. The odds of guessing a 12-word seed phrase are 1 in 10^40. However, that is a number too large to comprehend easily.
Bitcoin private key security
To attempt to visualize the problem, the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 238,855 miles. To travel 10^40 miles (the odds of guessing a seed phrase) would require traveling to the Moon and back approximately 42,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times.
For context, the estimated age of the universe is roughly 13.8 billion years, and traveling to the Moon and back at the speed of light would take about 1.28 seconds. Therefore, even traveling at the speed of light, it would take longer than the age of the universe to go to the Moon 42,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times.
Therefore, while the competition is fun, it is doubtful that anyone will ‘win’ the Bitcoin in the wallet. However, interest in crypto is slowly returning. The crypto fear and greed index flipped to ‘greed’ recently, and Google searches for ‘Bitcoin’ reached highs last seen in November. Competitions such as this can aid new users in understanding crypto security.
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