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Starting at tx cbbaa0a64924fe1d6ace3352f23242aa0028d4e0ff6ae8ed615244d66079cfb1 (2011-08-05), Catholic Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr started to inscribe prayers in the miner messages of his mining pool "Eligius pool", usually one verse per message.
These are some of the earliest inscriptions in the blockchain, and therefore extremelly visible.
Although the prayer verses appear contiguous in ASCII dumps, Eligius was not actually mining every block: it is just that in those early days, miners still hadn't started adding advertisement messages to every block, so only Eligius shows up and appears contiguous.
At some point, opponents noticed these messages, and started adding atheist mockery graffiti replies, which appear interspersed in ASCII dumps with the prayer.
The first prayer is the Latin version of the Divine Praises, a Catholic prayer composed in 1797 in Italian by Luigi Felici for the purpose of making reparation after saying or hearing sacrilege or blasphemy. Luke claims he was referring to anything in particular that came prior in the blockchain: There arent many earlier inscriptions at all to refer to in any case! The prayer and correspondong interrupts (in transaction outputs, not by other miners) ordered by block are:
Then comes:
and various others + output message interruptions.
Then at last come the first miner message interruptions. Luke explained on Twitter[ref] that they were also made by Eligius pool, as there was a system in which contributors besides Luke could submit their own strings:
  • 142547: (2011-08-25) tx 8e1e44a48b5e79636675d1476f8e4add075bbeb7f49e00ec743eed56f17feaaa A yandere game is starting in 60 seconds! Please type "]yandere" to join. Yandere Simulator comes to mind, but it can't be because that was pitched 2014.
  • 142550: "A yandere game is starting in 60 seconds! Please type "]yandere" to join."
  • 142573: (2011-08-25) "Militant atheists, -- happy now?". A Rickrolling link. Perhaps one of the fist.
  • 142596: (2011-08-25) "<cjdelisle> ran out of prayers?! That explains the price drop.". Possibly quoting this dude on som Bitcoin IRC channel givesn the <USERNAME> format?
  • 142640: "an de ti go su by ra me ni ko hu vy la po fy ton": Tonal system numerals. Interesting.
followed by more prayers and interruptions such as tx ec92d245822fa1ff862f3314b9102f36fe1eb8bc055865674c75323540aedef6:
FFS Luke-Jr leave the blockchain alone!
Oh, and God isn't real
The last Luke prayer appears to be on block 143822 (2011-09-03)
... the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.
Then there is a bit of radio silence, until finally Slush Pool started self advertising for the first time on block 163970 (2012-01-26):
They had been mining for a long time by then (December 2010 according to, but this is when they decided to add a human readable ASCII message as well.
From then on, miner messages would be forever polluted with ads, and Luke's multi-miner message feat would never again be reproduced.
The non-obvious interruptions are all well known memes/anime references:
  • 2011-08-19 "Eligius miners aware of prayers in block headers?" from on by user "Graet" who quotes prior discussion from a Bitcoin IRC channel:
    <luke-jr> cosurgi: by design, it contains "random" data-- I've just been setting some of that "random" data to prayers
    <Graet> mm interesting luke-jr i understand you are strong in your faith but you dont think putting prayers in might alienate some ppl - after all btc is multidenominational
    <luke-jr> Graet: Catholics do not believe in freedom of religion.
    <Graet> and you make your non catholic miners aware of this?
  • 2011-11-2 "Mysterious transaction spotted in blockchain!"


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