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This is a list of cool stuff found using techniques mentioned at: Section "How to extract data from the Bitcoin blockchain".
Notably, Ciro Santilli developed his own set of scripts at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids to find some of this data.
Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014) is a mandatory precursor to this article, and potentially contains some of the most interesting examples already.
An attempt is made to not repeat stuff that is already said in that article. Some repetition happened by accident, as we explored and only later noticed it was already mentioned there. But this also managed to add some new aspects to points previously covered by Ken. This analysis is also a bit more data oriented through our scripting. And there are somethings that only showed up after that post was originally written in 2014, this being originally written in 2021.
Cool stuff in other sections:
These can be viewed at bitcoinstrings.com/blk00052.txt and are mostly commented on the "Wikileaks cablegate data" section of Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014).
Soon after block 229991 uploaded the Satoshi uploader, several interesting files were added to the blockchain using the uploader, and notably some containing content that might be illegal in certain countries, as a test to see if this type of content would make the Bitcoin blockchain illegal or not:
So basically, this was the first obviously illegal block attempt.
None of this content is particularly eye-popping for Ciro Santilli's slightly crazy freedom of speech standards, and as of 2021, the Bitcoin blockchain likely hasn't become illegal anywhere yet due to freedom of speech concerns.
Furthermore, it is likely much easier to find much worse illegal content by browsing the any uncensored Onion service search engine for 5 minutes.
Ciro estimates that perhaps the uploader didn't upload child pornography, which is basically the apex of illegality of this era, because they were afraid that their identities would one day be found.
There are a few dozen ASCII arts in the blockchain.
To be honest, almost all of them are copy pastes of stuff present elsewhere, or boring auto-generated ones. But hey, it's still fun to see.
ASCII porn, all of them also reproduced at: asciiart.website/index.php?art=people/naked%20ladies therefore not blockchain original:
  • tx 9206ec2a41846709a59cafb406dd7b07082bfc27664bbc5c6d4df310c1e1b91f: sexually aroused naked woman sitting looking forward with legs open showing her vagina. Vagina row as an identifier for Ctrl + F:
    .     `.    .\x./-`--...../'   ;   :
    A bit bellow tx 8367a48e4a863e37b3749bc9c111327b07a7c383ec9b3e7ce8d41949e71e1c10 has a large hand showing the middle finger
  • tx 0aab36554c2ac5ec23747e7f21f75dbe3f16739134cf44953ad7ac98927146d6: naked woman laying on her side showing her vagina from under her legs, signed fsc. TODO full author name?
Decoded:
Transaction inputs with ASCII art, some miners went all the way:
Tribute to computer security researcher Len Sassaman, who killed himself on 2011-07-03, starting with an ASCII art portrait followed by text.
Because it comes so early in the blockchain, and because it is the first ASCII art on the blochain as far as we can see, and because is so well done, this is by far the most visible ASCII art of the blockchain.
Transaction: www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/930a2114cdaa86e1fac46d15c74e81c09eee1d4150ff9d48e76cb0697d8e1d72 from 2011-07-30, a few weeks after the suicide.
Created by famous computer security researcher Dan Kaminsky and Travis Goodspeed, presumably this other security researcher, evidence:
"Bernanke" is a reference to Ben Bernanke, who was one of the economists in power in the US Government during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and much criticized by some, as shown for example in the documentary Inside Job (2010). As hinted in the Genesis block message, the United States Government bailed out many big banks that were going to go bankrupt with taxpayer money, even though it was precisly those banks that had started the crisis through their reckless investment, thus violating principles of the free market and business accountability. This was one of the motivations for the creation Bitcoin, which could reduce government power over economic policy.
---BEGIN TRIBUTE---
#./BitLen
:::::::::::::::::::
:::::::.::.::.:.:::
:.: :.' ' ' ' ' : :
:.:'' ,,xiW,"4x, ''
:  ,dWWWXXXXi,4WX,
' dWWWXXX7"     `X,
 lWWWXX7   __   _ X
:WWWXX7 ,xXX7' "^^X
lWWWX7, _.+,, _.+.,
:WWW7,. `^"-" ,^-'
 WW",X:        X,
 "7^^Xl.    _(_x7'
 l ( :X:       __ _
 `. " XX  ,xxWWWWX7
  )X- "" 4X" .___.
,W X     :Xi  _,,_
WW X      4XiyXWWXd
"" ,,      4XWWWWXX
, R7X,       "^447^
R, "4RXk,      _, ,
TWk  "4RXXi,   X',x
lTWk,  "4RRR7' 4 XH
:lWWWk,  ^"     `4
::TTXWWi,_  Xll :..
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
LEN "rabbi" SASSAMA
     1980-2011
Len was our friend.
A brilliant mind,
a kind soul, and
a devious schemer;
husband to Meredith
brother to Calvin,
son to Jim and
Dana Hartshorn,
coauthor and
cofounder and
Shmoo and so much
more.  We dedicate
this silly hack to
Len, who would have
found it absolutely
hilarious.
--Dan Kaminsky,
Travis Goodspeed
P.S.  My apologies,
BitCoin people.  He
also would have
LOL'd at BitCoin's
new dependency upon
   ASCII BERNANKE
:'::.:::::.:::.::.:
: :.: ' ' ' ' : :':
:.:     _.__    '.:
:   _,^"   "^x,   :
'  x7'        `4,
 XX7            4XX
 XX              XX
 Xl ,xxx,   ,xxx,XX
( ' _,+o, | ,o+,"
 4   "-^' X "^-'" 7
 l,     ( ))     ,X
 :Xx,_ ,xXXXxx,_,XX
  4XXiX'-___-`XXXX'
   4XXi,_   _iXX7'
  , `4XXXXXXXXX^ _,
  Xx,  ""^^^XX7,xX
W,"4WWx,_ _,XxWWX7'
Xwi, "4WW7""4WW7',W
TXXWw, ^7 Xk 47 ,WH
:TXXXWw,_ "), ,wWT:
::TTXXWWW lXl WWT:
----END TRIBUTE----
Figure 1. Len Sassaman (2010) Source. For comparison with the ASCII art.
Figure 2. Official portrait of Ben Bernanke (2008) Source. For comparison with the ASCII art.
Video 1. Black OPS of TCP/IP by Dan Kaminsky (2011) Source. Presented at the BlackHat 2011 conference. Dan unveils the Len memorial at the given timestamp around 8:41. The presentation was done on 2011-08-03 or 04, so very few days after the upload to the blockchain.
From the JSON transaction we understand the encoding format:
   "out":[
      {
         "spent":false,
         "tx_index":0,
         "type":0,
         "addr":"1CqKQ2EqUscMkeYRFMmgepNGtfKynXzKW7",
         "value":1000000,
         "n":0,
         "script":"76a91481ccb4ee682bc1da3bda70176b7ccc616a6ba9da88ac"
      },
      {
         "spent":false,
         "tx_index":0,
         "type":0,
         "addr":"157sXa7duStAvq3dPLWe7J449sgh47eHzw",
         "value":1000000,
         "n":1,
         "script":"76a9142d2d2d424547494e20545249425554452d2d2d2088ac"
      },
...
      {
         "spent":false,
         "tx_index":0,
         "type":0,
         "addr":"157sXYpjvAyEJ6TdVFaVzmoETAQnHB6FGU",
         "value":1000000,
         "n":77,
         "script":"76a9142d2d2d2d454e4420545249425554452d2d2d2d2088ac"
      }
So it is really encoded one line at a time in the script of the transaction outputs.
Starting at tx 6650107a4e4e4838ba1081ce87862c38dcb4181b8d34fc0405b099213ba76033 and going on one line per transaction using the bitcoin blockchain j( upload system, there is a marijuana plant ASCII art:
j(-> 1EGa1izEFDHzEobDDQny73re9BwXdzhZvH <-
j(                 ,
j(                dM
j(                MMr
j(               4MMML                  .
j(               MMMMM.                xf
j(              "M6MMM               .MM-
j( h..          +MM5MMM            .MMMM
j( .MM.         .MMMMML.          MMMMMh
j( )MMMh.        MM5MMM         MMMMMMM
j(  3MMMMx.     'MMM3MMf      xnMMMMMM"
j(  '*MMMMM      MMMMMM.     nMMMMMMP"
j(    *MMMMMx    "MMM5M\    .MMMMMMM=
j(     *MMMMMh   "MMMMM"   JMMMMMMP
j(       MMMMMM   GMMMM.  dMMMMMM
j(        MMMMMM  "MMMM  .MMMMM(        .n
j(         *MMMMx  MMM"  dMMMM"    .nnMMMM
j(Mn...     'MMMMr 'MM   MMM"   .nMMMMMMM*
j(4MMMMnn..   *MMM  MM  MMP"  .dMMMMMMM""
j( ^MMMMMMMMx.  *ML "M .M*  .MMMMMM**"
j(    *PMMMMMMhn. *x > M  .MMMM**""
j(       ""**MMMMhx/.h/ .=*"
j(                .3P"%....
j(              nP"     "*MMnx
The transaction before the ASCII art tx 9b08c00ced2bca4525d74e82db9af2aec8ef213eb1c1bf68a48b6be929968332 starts with what is likely a "Legalize" and must be a Tor Onion service:
j(-> 1EGa1izEFDHzEobDDQny73re9BwXdzhZvH <-
but that address as is + .onion is invalid, TODO find the correct one.
ASCII art of a Force of Will, a famous and powerful Magic: The Gathering card first printed in 1996.
This is Ciro Santilli's personal favorite ASCII art he has found in the blockchain so far. Also Ciro could not find any other previous source of this, so there is some chance it is original. One can dream.
The choice of card is probably linked to the function of the card in the game of Magic: The Gathering. This card essentially prevents the opponent from casting a spell they are about to cast. The presumed intended meaning of this art is further accentuated by the old card type term "interrupt" (late renamed to "instant"), which suggests that "this ASCII art is an interruption to the normal monetary transactions of the blockchain".
One of also reminded of the prayer wars interruption attempts. We could not however identify anything specific that this ASCII art might have tried to interrupt besides the normal flow of monetary transactions.
If one goes full art critic mode, it is also tempting to draw a parallel between the card's "You may pay 1 life" alternative casting cost (as opposed to 5 mana, 3 and two blue, which is a very large cost for most games) as being a reference to the money spent by the uploader of the art to upload it.
TODO understand exactly how it was encoded and why it is so weird. The UUUU has a slightly weird encoding which we fixed by hand here TODO understand.
 -------------------------------------
|  Force of Will               3 U U  |
|  ---------------------------------  |
| |                  ////////////   | |
| |                ////() ()\////\  | |
| |               ///_\ (--) \///\  | |
| |        )      ////  \_____///\\ | |
| |       ) \      /   /   /    /   | |
| |    ) /   \     |   |  /   _/    | |
| |   ) \  (  (   /   / /   / \     | |
| |  / ) ( )  / (    )/(    )  \    | |
| |  \(_)/(_)/  /UUUU \  \\\/   |   | |
| .---------------------------------. |
| Interrupt                           |
| ,---------------------------------, |
| | You may pay 1 life and remove a | |
| | blue card in your hand from the | |
| | game instead of paying Force of | |
| | Will's casting cost.  Effects   | |
| | that prevent or redirect damage | |
| | cannot be used to counter this  | |
| | loss of life.                   | |
| | Counter target spell.           | |
| `---------------------------------` |
|                                     l
| Illus.  Terese Nelsen               |
 -------------------------------------
Figure 3. Force of Will Magic: The Gathering card (Alliances) Source. A high resolution scan of the original card depicted in the ASCII art for comparison.
The following two ASCII transactions:
tx 0f05c47a8caafadecc10d70ba3bf010eaf6bb416b5e1ad7b01cf3445f5fb7a1c
I am. Therefore, I have come to be.

-- Hyena


tx e6d48f6912929a58a2ee30c13768058777d8547215c27109b5cb0724e7abaaba
Erich,
Bro, this looks excellent!!
-Duriel
suggest this ASCII art might have been uploaded by Figure 16. "Erich Erstu", AKA Hyena, creator of cryptograffiti.info, a service which would have allowed uploading ASCII content to the blockchain.
The only other mention of "Duriel" in the blockchain is tx 140562ceb42fc8943fa52ccc0ddbb11ca2d88dae9b5240d7a4b46864538c515a which has some freedom of speech comments and gives the email:
Duriel@paystamper.com = 1HcuhfTAiQCt6KdMG2rZLXsTcKYj9nLDhS
paystamper.com was some other blockchain service from circa 2015:
The huge majority of images is encoded with the AtomSea & EMBII system/format. All images in that system will be documented in that section.
Figure 4. bitcoin.jpg. Source.
A bitcoin logo.
Dating from 2011-05-13, this is the very first ASCII string to show up at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids after only the Genesis block message.
This version of the image was just ripped from Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014).
Reconstructing it should likely be a simple matter of copy pasting the ASCII yEnc encoding present in the two transactions from tx ceb1a7fb57ef8b75ac59b56dd859d5cb3ab5c31168aa55eb3819cd5ddbd3d806 into a text file and decoding the yEnc, but after searching for 20 minutes Ciro couldn't find a working yEnc decoder on Ubuntu 21.10. How can a format be so dead, even after considerable xtensive use in the Usenet??? It makes you think about life.
As mentioned by Ken, the logo is split across two transactions: ceb1a7fb57ef8b75ac59b56dd859d5cb3ab5c31168aa55eb3819cd5ddbd3d806 and 9173744691ac25f3cd94f35d4fc0e0a2b9d1ab17b4fe562acc07660552f95518.
There appears to be nothing strictly linking the two transactions, besides that they are very close by and the only ASCII strings around back in those pre-infinite-spam days, as can be seen at: github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids/blob/master/data/out/0123.txt#L11, so you could just see both of them by eye.
Also the first one starts with:
=ybegin line=128 size=8776 name=bitcoin.jpg
and the second one ends in:
=yend size=8776 crc32=a7ac8449
so this is likely clearly part of the yEnc format for someone who knows it, and the filename bitcoin.jpg gives the file format.
They are not even in the same block:both from 2011-05-13. Also note that they ended up being committed reverse order, since you don't have a strict order control over the final blockchain.
Figure 5. v27sSra.jpg.
An image of a dozen people siting at a dinner table, with each person identified by a Twitter handle that was edited in.
This image is present tx 4be3a833ee83b4ca7d157d60fbf7411f7528314ce90df8a844f855118bc6ca11 from block 357239 (2015-05-20), an input transaction.
It contains a base 64 encoded image:
v27sSra.jpg

/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEASABIAAD/2wBDACgcHiMeGSgjISMtKygwPGRBPDc3PHtYXUlkkYCZlo+A
...
TAkBaMxbbhuYXGDMyXw/MIV84IqrE//Z
...
By manually copy pasting that into a file v27sSra.base64 we can obtain the image with:
base64 -d <v27sSra.base64 >v27sSra.jpg
The exact same content appears to be present on the next input transaction 56d23a230042c094bc54bb72fc4c10a3f26750030b9927994e741d3689f5c09e on the same block.
Google reverse image search leads to freedom-to-tinker.com/2015/05/21/the-story-behind-the-picture-of-nick-szabo-with-other-bitcoin-researchers-and-developers/ The story behind the picture of Nick Szabo with other Bitcoin researchers and developers by Arvind Narayanan (2015), in which Arvind (@random_walker) who attended the meeting clearly lists all names and handles, and talks about the background of gathering of Bitcoin devs that happened in March 2014. The article also contains a higher resolution version of the image uploaded to the blockchain.
It also links to a popular Reddit thread that contains the image from May 2015: www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/36hfu4/pic_coredevs_having_dinner_with_nick_szabo/
Googling v27sSra.jpg leads to bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1061926.220;wap "New York Times identifies Nick Szabo as Satoshi Nakamoto" which links to i.imgur.com/v27sSra.jpg so this is a Satoshi Nakamoto-real-identity thing.
A text/file upload system.
bitfossil.org/ an indexer website which interprets the format. Each page has an "abuse report" button to unindex presumably. TODO website source? Local indexer/extraction script? Ciro's indexer and its generated index can be found at:
Each AtomSea payload has a toplevel transaction which links to other transactions. All the linked transactions together make up the payload. The most common payload type is a text plus image, as is the case of Nelson-Mandela.jpg, which can be seen at bitfossil.com/78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e/ where 78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e is the toplevel transaction ID: www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e
See Section 3.2.1.2. "Nelson-Mandela.jpg" for a detailed reverse engineering of the format, and Section 3.2.3. "AtomSea & EMBII data format" for a summary of it.
apertus.io/ is the system to upload/index locally, and therefore likely part of the backend of bitfossil: github.com/HugPuddle/Apertus
The system shows the messages and the images on a single page: bitfossil.org/4cbb32cd27b5b5edc12d3559bdffc1355ac2a210463d5cfaadc7ce9b06675b2b/index.htm It is basically a blockchain-based Twitter.
Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014) suggests that AtomSea & EMBII are the creator's aliases.
Somewhat related projects:
These are of course likely all made by AtomSea & EMBII themselves while developing/testing their upload system.
They are also artsy peoeple themselves, and as pointed at twitter.com/AllenVandever/status/1563964396656812034 what they were doing was basicaly non-fungible token art, which became much much more popular a few years later around 2021.
The first upload that we could find at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids/tree/3f53e152ec9bb0d070dbcb8f9249d92f89effa70#atomsea-index was 44e80475dc363de2c7ee17b286f8cd49eb146165a79968a62c1c2c4cf80772c9 on block 272573 but it does not show on Bitfossil: bitfossil.org/44e80475dc363de2c7ee17b286f8cd49eb146165a79968a62c1c2c4cf80772c9/. This is was due to an upload bug explained by the following entry. By looking at the ASCII data at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids/blob/master/data/out/0272.txt#L449 that this is meant to contain the same content as the following message: a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, so this is definitely a bugged version of the following one.
The next one is bitfossil.org/c9d1363ea517cd463950f83168ce8242ef917d99cd6518995bd1af927d335828/ on block 272577 (2013-12-02). It reads:
I WONDER WHAT HISTORY WILL THINK ABOUT THESE FIRST FEW BUGS...HA HA HA. NOBODY IS PERFECT.
followed by:
He who regards
With an eye that is equal
Friends and comrades,
The foe and the kinsman,
The vile, the wicked,
The men who judge him,
And those who belong
To neither faction:
He is the greatest.
The bug message is definitely a reference to the previous non-visible bugged upload bitfossil.org/4b72a223007eab8a951d43edc171befeabc7b5dca4213770c88e09ba5b936e17/, TODO understand exactly how they fucked up. This illustrates the beauty of the blockchain very well: unlike with version control, you don't just see selected snapshots: you see actual debug logs!!!
The third one contains the first actual image WeAreStarStuff.jpg:
Figure 6. WeAreStarStuff.jpg. Source.
Message:
Photo etchin' test. #AtomSea #embii (photo by Travis Ehrich)
The image shows showingAtomSea and EMBII together, presumably photographed by this dude.
The name is of course a reference to the quote/idea: We Are Made of Star-Stuff that was much popularized by Carl Sagan.
For some reason, it does not show up at: bitfossil.org/8d1b3c094b782198deb7381efb57b1208244375e7a1029ec159306d6a8fd25d8 from block 272592. Ciro could swear it was visible there previously. Uploading here a version from the Bitcoin Testnet visible at: bitfossil.org/81f6d302a0ed4ffefa674834d0c4a02cdc6639f213713d48946225956fc96d85/index.htm from circa 2015-07-24, much later than the supposed original however, which would have been at around 2013-12-02. The data relating to that can be seen at: github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids/blob/master/data/out/0272.txt#L481 but we don't have a local decoder yet, so can't confirm easily.
Then comes a boring logo image HugPuddle.jpg on block 272592
Figure 7. HugPuddle.jpg. Source. Message:
HugPuddle Testing Apertus Disk Drive
And then finally we meet Chiharu, EMBII's partner, with her hair painted blond (she's Japanese): ILoveYouMore.jpg.
Then there's an approximation of pi as ASCII decimal fraction bitfossil.org/70fd289901bae0409f27237506c330588d917716944c6359a8711b0ad6b4ce76/:
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603486104543266482133936072602491412737245870066063155881748815209209628292540917153643678925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185480744623799627495673518857527248912279381830119491298336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798609437027705392171762931767523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277857713427577896091736371787214684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235420199561121290219608640344181598136297747713099605187072113499999983729780499510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881710100031378387528865875332083814206171776691473035982534904287554687311595628638823537875937519577818577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989
This is the first of many love declarations and mentions EMBII makes of his partner Chiharu!
Figure 8. ILoveYouMore.jpg. Source. Message:
My Dearest Chiharu....I Love you more. <3 Eric
Note that she's Japanese and not really bond, it's hair dye.
SatoFamily.jpg gives Chiharu's full identity with picture basically:
Figure 9. SatoFamily.jpg. Source. Message:
The Sato Family Arrives from Japan! Taken Aug 2. 2014 in Minneapolis MN. (Keiko, Chiharu, Hideaki, Katsuhiko) Now preparing for the Sato / Bobby Great American Vacation!!
so presumably Chiharu's full name is Chiharu Sato.
More Chiharu at: bitfossil.org/966e090d19172b6a6f988b1f1d32141492349279cedd2a436d7a2143c67d7af4/index.htm "#Chiharu #embii & the #AtomSea #Fargo #ND", so their location was: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fargo,_North_Dakota
OurWedding.jpg (2014-08-07) bitfossil.org/393f4d3b3b0ac018b6483f58390ac0d56adf5f70f68e846af7d745359ca14bf9/:
My Dearest Chiharu, I will love you forever. Taken Aug 6th 2014 in Ipswich, SD.
Figure 10. Nelson-Mandela.jpg. Source. Message:
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. - Wikipedia Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa Died: December 5, 2013.
tx 8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f37f7ef0dd3742c30eef92dba contains a copy of part of his wiki page ending in an image:
There is nothing like returning to a place
 that remains unchanged to find the ways in
 which you yourself have altered.lson Mandela


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. -Wikipedia

Born: July 18, 1918, Mvezo, South Africa
Died: December 5, 2013Nelson-Mandela.jpg?14400/d-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 40
By inspecting the transaction, we see that the initial text is cut up because it starts in the middle of a script with line:
00000000  22 33 39 36 5c e2 80 9c  54 68 65 72 65 20 69 73  |"396\...There is|
00000010  20 6e 6f 74 68 69 6e 67  20 6c 69 6b 65 20 72 65  | nothing like re|
00000020  74 75 72 6e 69 6e 67 20  74 6f 20 61 20 70 6c 61  |turning to a pla|
The txid is the first of an index at tx 78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e:
8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f37f7ef0dd3742c30eef92dba|396*8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f37f7ef0dd3742c30eef92dba
575061146335bd57f2dc132112152d0eeea44cf187ea6a52ac02435a7e5bea44
674c7cc34ea44bb276c6caf76f2b28fa1597380ab6e6a6906076d8f7229ca5b3
8e2642416ad20924b43f51a633fa1c0a5ba8e4a7b631877db1c64540a42081c9
a3084018096b92af04df57b6116e01ff4b7c7e8bd228235ed49e23f4a2817029
39348722b841afa0c5b67e5af10839afe965ed1b24874e89336bea9fa4ef3091
tomSea & EMBII
The A is really missing from AtomSea, it shows up as AtomSea almost in all other greps. This is presumably chopped to fit the 20-byte granularity without an extra output.
We see that www.blockchain.com/btc/tx/78f0e6de0ce007f4dd4a09085e649d7e354f70bc7da06d697b167f353f115b8e starts with:
  • 2 data txs encoding 8881a937a437ff6ce83be3a89d77ea88ee12315f in hex ascii
  • a spent change tx
  • 37f7ef0dd3742c30eef9 on the next
  • 2dba|396*8881a937a43 on the next
  • the newlines from the ASCII dumps are encoded directly:
    00000000  34 32 63 33 30 65 65 66  39 32 64 62 61 0d 0a 35  |42c30eef92dba..5|
    00000010  37 35 30 36                                       |7506|
    00000014
  • the last is:
    00000000  30 39 31 0d 0a 74 6f 6d  53 65 61 20 26 20 45 4d  |091..tomSea & EM|
    00000010  42 49 49 00                                       |BII.|
    00000014
    Yes, 2 char Windows newlines, even in one of the most expensive per-byte storage mechanisms ever invented!
All non-change value are 0.00005500 BTC.
Therefore, the rest of the transactions presumably contain the rest of the image!
The bytes for the first one are:
         "n":21,
         "script":"76a914334e656c736f6e2d4d616e64656c612e6a70673f88ac"
which is

00000000  76 a9 14 33 4e 65 6c 73  6f 6e 2d 4d 61 6e 64 65  |v..3Nelson-Mande|
00000010  6c 61 2e 6a 70 67 3f 88  ac                       |la.jpg?..|
00000019
And then the next one:
"n":22,
"script":"76a91431343430302fffd8ffe000104a4649460001010088ac"
which is:
00000000  76 a9 14 31 34 34 30 30  2f ff d8 ff e0 00 10 4a  |v..14400/......J|
00000010  46 49 46 00 01 01 00 88  ac                       |FIF......|
so unlike in ILoveYouMore.jpg, we do have the raw JPEG header data here starting with ffd8!
And there is a possible footer ffd9 in the last file of the list 39348722b841afa0c5b67e5af10839afe965ed1b24874e89336bea9fa4ef3091!
However, when I put everything together, cutting around delimiters, it gives only the top half of the head! My data is 14960, not 14400. So there must be 460 bytes of metadata in some of the blocks, possibly error checking.
The actual data starting at ffd8 and cutting off header/tails (20 bytes per transaction):
ffd8ffe000104a46494600010100
000100010000fffe003b43524541544f523a2067
642d6a7065672076312e3020287573696e672049
4a47204a50454720763830292c207175616c6974
79203d2034300affdb004300140e0f120f0d1412
1012171514181e32211e1c1c1e3d2c2e24324940
4c4b47404645505a736250556d5645466488656d
777b8182814e608d978c7d96737e817cffdb0043
011517171e1a1e3b21213b7c5346537c7c7c7c7c
7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c7c
The above bytes are not contained at all in Ken's uploaded image.
On a related note, tx f3c2e1178fa20a44e942e1137cd7125b376edaadb4fbd46be30b69fe89525d64 contains a speech from Mandela starting with:
/1442:Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

"I am fundamentally an optimist ...
followed by lots of text.
That transaction is also part of an index in the same file:
tx 9e2928e02e77ceffc217a6df1fc992be128f2188e691986cbb0df8a4207a492f
7fad2fc0-2f51-44a0-9358-886262426359>462<f3c2e1178fa20a44e942e1137cd7125b376edaadb4fbd46be30b69fe89525d64
27f4cc5c688e8V2b2347295ec3f071947bb847fb0cb2eb1a0fb9150040929e4e8
8ff79814c99b0e35ceeca86f22a7f41e94c7287ed4f4fc2cd5c747bd2c31cc8d
3
The middle hash 27f4cc5c688e8V2b2347295ec3f071947bb847fb0cb2eb1a0fb9150040929e4e8 does not name any existing transaction however (it is one byte too long).
Other images:
Audio:
Other:
For a detailed analysis of one transaction see: Nelson-Mandela.jpg.
Best guess so far, all in ASCII hex of output scripts:
  • remove the single output value different from first one from payload, that's the change, and it is randomly placed as far as I see
  • 64 bytes: hex address of top level text
  • 1 byte: some random punctuation
  • decimal number of bytes of some payload
  • 1 byte: some random punctuation
  • 64 bytes: same as the first address
  • CR LF
  • ends in NUL
In this section contains a list of images we could find that wre uploaded as raw data to the blockchain, without any special encoding, e.g. as done by the AtomSea & EMBII system.
It is possible that some/most of those were uploaded via the cryptograffiti.info system, but since that indexer stopped working, and since the format is so non-specific, it is not possible be sure as far as we can tell.
These images were indexed by looking for standard transaction output script hashes that contain JPEG or PNG images immediately on the first payload byte based on file signature bytes and indexed/easily downloaded at github.com/cirosantilli/bitcoin-strings-with-txids#image-indexing-and-download.
Figure 14. JPG thumbnail. Block 349362.
Figure 15. we love bitcoin.
A heart next to a bitcoin logo and written "we love bitcoin". Reproduced at: kryptomoney.com/grayscale-report-institutional-investors-retirement-funds-love-bitcoin/
Embedded in the image itself, there's a message in the header comments: "Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks" which is the opening paragraph of: bitcoin.org/en/
Block 351375.
Figure 16. Erich Erstu. Alias: 1Hyena. A well built man wearing a gas mask. Google image search leads to: github.com/1Hyena (archive), who is the creator of cryptograffiti.info. It was around after this time that the number of raw images surged dramatically in the blockchain, so it is possible that this is when the service started operating. This further suggests that most raw image uploads we found were made with cryptograffiti.info. Block 416527.
Figure 17. Water Deer. badtaxidermy.com "Water Deer" image, visible at: web.archive.org/web/20200527070011/http://www.badtaxidermy.com/?page=3. Block 416735.
Figure 18. hotmine.io. A mining supplier: hotmine.io/en. twitter.com/uahotmine. Block 416835.
Figure 19. Nada from They Live (1988). Block 416896.
Figure 20. Cryptocurrenty Minning ad. Twitter "@dobcrypto": twitter.com/dobcrypto Reuploaded at: imgur.com/gallery/00oOuhm. Block 417111.
Figure 21. Chinese wedding. A white man and a Chinese woman both in Chinese traditional dressess holding hands, presumably a token from their wedding. TODO transcribe and translate the Chinese text, cursive grass script + traditional characters + ultra-low res put this beyond Ciro Santilli's capabilities/patience ratio. Given the format, it is likely some well known beautiful old poem. Ciro Santilli's wife's gave the first line:
丹珍默然藏山中
and no Google hits, so maybe an original poem? What a hero. Block 417131.
Figure 22. Superbuffo. Googling gives a Toni Caradonna: twitter.com/superbuffo. Block 417354.
Figure 23. Rene Angelil and Celine Dion. Reproduced at: web.archive.org/web/20191130174338/https://people.com/celebrity/inside-celine-dion-and-rene-angelils-21-year-marriage/ but cropped to faces. Block 417272.
Figure 24. New Age dance. Woman dancing a New Age-like dance with New Age-like Indian looking clothes, holding a lamp, and with a rose on her hair. Block 419676.
Figure 25. Snake penetration sculputure. Sculpture of what seems to be a snake penetrating a vagina. Block 420122.
Figure 26. Wedding invitation. TODO: make out names, quite low res, no patience. Looks like Cyrillic script. Block 420960.
Figure 27. Bitcoin love certificate. Hard to make out due to ultra-low-res, and in Cyrillic script. Contains three dates: 8.02.1982, 16.07.1992 and 17.07.2016. Block 421151.
Figure 28. Oles Slobodenyuk.
Wedding picture with people holding "Blockchain" and "Ipa" signs.
Reproduced at: web.archive.org/web/20200926150213/https://freebitcoins.com.ua/zapushhen-ukrainskij-bitkoin-pul-bitcoinukraine/ Google translate:
One of the initiators of the launch of this pool was Oles Slobodenyuk, who earlier created a grocery store in Kiev accepting bitcoins, arranged a TakeMyBitcoin flash mob, and also registered his own marriage in the bitcoin blockchain on the weddingbook.io website.
Oles is for example featured at: uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/bitcoin-miners-heating-homes-free-133053106.html Bitcoin Miners Are Heating Homes Free of Charge in Frigid Siberia by Anna Baydakova (2019)
Block 421280.
Figure 29. Nematode. A... nematode-like shaped hand drawn extremely simple image. A test upload presumably? The squiggle outside of the worm might be a test direction marker. Block 424414.
Figure 30. Hand written contract.
Wedding contract written in Czech. Transcription and translation by Petr Kadlec:
Svým podpisem pod tímto textem potvrzuji, že Daniela Dudysová a Pavel Urbaczka v mé přítomnosti dne 20.8.2016 v Ropici projevili vůli uzavřít spolu manželství, přičemž ani jeden z těchto projevů se mi nejevil jako nesvobodný, nikoliv vážný, nesrozumitelný, omylný nebo uzavřený v tísni.
Translation:
With my signature under this text, I confirm Daniela Dudysová and Pavel Urbaczka have, in my presence on 2016-08-20 in Ropice, expressed the will to enter marriage, whereas neither of their expressions seemed to me to be non-free, not serious, in error, or under distress.
Signatures:
Tereza (unreadable) Hana (unreadable) Jakub (unreadable) Radim Kozub (unreadable) (unreadable) Lenka (unreadable)
Petr also conjectures that Jakub may refer to Jakub Olšina from Blockchain Legal. Figure 31. "Wedding on grass" on the same block contains a image of a wedding, presumably the same of the contract. The photo of the man might be the same person as www.linkedin.com/in/olsinajakub/, but a bit younger.
Block 426072.
Figure 31. Wedding on grass. Block 426072.
Figure 32. Onshape ad. Ad for www.onshape.com/en/, an online CAD company:
#CAD users all over the world are designing in the cloud! Join them by creating a #free Onshape account: hubs.ly/HO3vJ6tO. Block 426832.
Figure 33. Hello. Yes, this is dog. knowyourmeme.com/memes/yes-this-is-dog. Block 440418.
Figure 34. Ross Ulbricht. Exact image also reproduced at: ethereumworldnews.com/ross-ulbricht-attorney-dismiss-2018/. Block 442225.
Figure 35. Tuxedo and rose. Black and white and intentionally blurred photo of couple, the woman wears a tuxedo, and the man holds a red rose/light-like thing in the middle. Block 453083.
Figure 36. Couple on mountains. Couple selfie in front of some mountains. Block 456370.
Figure 37. Tank Man.
Searching for the image hash ca4f11131eca6b4d61daf707a470cfccd1ef3d80a6f8b70f1f07616b451ca64e leads to archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/191157608/#q191162145 which links to cryptograffiti.info/#ca4f11131eca6b4d61daf707a470cfccd1ef3d80a6f8b70f1f07616b451ca64e.jpg suggesting that this upload was made with cryptograffiti.info, or at least was indexed by it. But that link is not working as of 2021.
Block 458238.
Figure 38. Cat manga. TODO identify, transcribe japanese. Block 581526.
Figure 39. Arms crossed. Woman in her early 20's wearing glasses an da jeans jacked with her arms crossed. TODO identify. Block 597374.
Figure 40. Black cat. No, Google reverse image is not going to find the exact one amongst billions of pics. Block 625045.
Figure 41. Teddy bear. Block 654100.
twitter.com/cryptograffiti (marked as joined March 2014)
Bitcoin blockchain image indexer and uploader.
At some point it stopped using Bitcoin mainline and moved to Bitcoin Cash instead: www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/cryptograffiti-rejects-bitcoin-core-bch-now-available-payment-method/ and therefore became useless. Existing indexes seem to have been broken as well.
Also, based on the timing of Figure 16. "Erich Erstu", this service may be responsible for a large part of the raw JPEG images present in the blockchain from block 416527 (2016) onwards. This is also suggested by the comments at Figure 37. "Tank Man".
Other related transactions:
Rickrolling lyrics were mined several times into the blockchain as mentioned at interesting input script data.
Around block block 246k we note several transactions starting with a XML format <CG SZ="1156"><MG>... the first one being 0b4efe49ea1454020c4d51a163a93f726a20cd75ad50bb9ed0f4623c141a8008 As mentioned not very clearly at www.righto.com/2014/02/ascii-bernanke-wikileaks-photographs.html#ref12 the content of the first <MG><payload></MG> is a Base64 encoded string
Catagory: Poetry
Title: Never Gonna Give You Up
Performer: Rick Astley
Writer: Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Pete Waterman
Label: RCA Records
followed by lyrics also base64 encoded as part of the XML metadata. Hidden surprises in the Bitcoin blockchain by Ken Shirriff (2014) was not able to identify the exact format either.
tx d29c9c0e8e4d2a9790922af73f0b8d51f0bd4bb19940d9cf910ead8fbe85bc9b contains a plaintext Rickroll lyric in an output.
Bitcoin addresses are by convention expressed in Base58, which is a human readable binary-to-text encoding invented by Bitcoin. It is a bit like Base64, but obsessed with eliminating characters that look like one another in popular but stupid fonts like capital "I" and lower case ell "l".
This seems to be one of the earliest strategies used to encode messages.
The generated text is however rather obfuscated by the limitations of Base58.
The following transactions contain base58 encoded messages on addresses:
Quick ones that didn't deserve a their own section:
Politics:
Non-cool things:
Encrypted data: transactions such as:
tx fe37c7eee73be5fda91068dbe0eb74a68495a3fc7185712b8417032db7fc9c5e
U2FsdGVkX1/4iSjLxQ5epo8eRSCOQLGgAsn1CucGii27k8ZyC7Jz6wxhYcevVmxi
6Q4ZFN04WDN0UhKqYardgQf26oeBMURupduDd0ZozxlgMrBkFOCaARqU7RABVWDO
/ruPUcOY0VC8p4lrMNqSdqvN7y6OWwOSH3c0duumZfFNZs9+BbtKCxtaqR5+RkUI
are Base64 encoded. Running them through base64 -d leads to starting output bytes Salted__ which as mentioend at security.stackexchange.com/questions/124312/decrypting-binary-code-from-a-base64-string is OpenSSL encrypted data. So whever we see the start:
U2FsdGVkX1/
we might as well give up.
TODO
  • 4dd57f3e443ad1567a37beab8f6b31d8cb1328a26bac09e50ba96048ad07b8c1 long text in Italian starting with E il cazzo non entr looks vulgar/porn, identify
Data in input and output transactions are quite different because:
  • input transaction data can only be added by the miner who obtained the block.
    Input script transactions can only contain arbitrary data when they are made by miners that obtained the block.
    Therefore, except at the very early beginnings when random individuals could still mine without having a nuclear power station at their disposal, basically all input script transactions are boring ads made by mining pools or other souless companies.
    As a result, inputs contain almost exclusively boring miner advertisements.
  • output transaction data however can be added by anyone who makes a transaction.
    Therefore, although the large majority of it is also crap and spam like the rest of the Internet, there is much more interesting stuff to be found there in total.
Here are some exceptionally interesting input data that are not mentioned in other sections:
Starting at tx cbbaa0a64924fe1d6ace3352f23242aa0028d4e0ff6ae8ed615244d66079cfb1 with one line per transaction:
Eligius/Benedictus Deus. Benedictum Nomen Sanctum eius
These are some of the very first ASCII embedded in the blockchain, and is therefore very visible.
Because it is one line per transaction, it could got broken up by some interspersed atheist mockery graffiti, e.g.:
Benedicta sancta eius et immaculata Conceptio.
   I LIKE TURTLES
Benedicta eius gloriosa Assumptio.
Benedictum Nomen Iesu.
Benedictus Iesus in sanctissimo altaris Sacramento.
C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER
Benedictus sanctus Ioseph, eius castissimus Sponsus
The non-obvious interruptions are all well known memes/anime references:
It should be noted however, that the interruptions we've found were all output transactions, therefore not done by miners, but just by regular transfers, which are much easier to make. In this sense, therefore, the prayer did win.
Later comments attribute the prayers to a Luke Jr., who is likely: twitter.com/LukeDashjr, who says is a Roman Catholic on his Twitter introduction. This is consistent with him being one of the early miners.
Protesters were posting large chunks of text multiple times into the blockchain as a way to protest against the controversial increase of block size.
tx 08893442680a20c4d0548dec2c8c421fa43336528b4e274dbf2652774f9c9f2d has the first copy of:
I like big blocks and I can not lie
which is the first line of a parody on:
I like big butts and I cannot lie
from the Baby Got Back hip-hop song.
tx 52159222289cd0a5afe0644150d0e23d5d272a57365627d5e869fdb458289858 has the first copy of:
Time to roll out bigger blocks
which is likely a copy of an email from the bitcoin development mailing list. This message is repeated dozens of times in other transactions.
Starting tx a87d406fae047258a12923b3c11a797a5765bd8f868df5c7e9b1cead0e92c9c1: the message:
503: Bitcoin over capacity!
appears about 13 thousand times. WTF happened?
  • bb41a757f405890fb0f5856228e23b715702d714d59bf2b1feb70d8b2b4e3e08 999,657 bytes. Joins a bunch of tiny inputs into a single output
  • 623463a2a8a949e0590ffe6b2fd3e4e1028b2b99c747e82e899da4485eb0b6be and 5143cf232576ae53e8991ca389334563f14ea7a7c507a3e081fbef2538c84f6e both have 3,075 outputs of 1 satoshi each and a single input. We were not able to identify any meaningful data in it, file just says data, and there aren't long ASCII strings. However, the outputs were unspent as of 2021, which suggests that they might actually be data.
Analysis of some of them follows.
Horrible Horrendous Terrible Tremendous Mining Pool: hhtt.1209k.com/
Has some cute one liner messages.
Analyses in other blockchains:
Ken Shirriff is a cool dude, he's done come collabs with Marc Verdiell in electronics restoration.
Semi-boring academic overview, but without reproducibility, or in a way that is too hidden for Ciro to have the patience to find it out.
Claims 1600 files found.
Mentions some upload mechanisms, notably AtomSea & EMBII and Satoshi uploader.
By Ciro Santilli:
By others:

Tagged

Ancestors