July 24, 2024

Someone spent $66,000 to inscribe data onto Bitcoin. No one knows what it says.

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Over the course of 332 transactions, an anonymous wallet spent about 1.5 BTC, worth about $66,000 at current prices, to inscribe almost 9 megabytes of encrypted data onto the Bitcoin blockchain. 

The most expensive transactions cost thousands of dollars each in fees, though most of the transactions were closer to $200 . However, as the data remains encrypted, no one has yet been able to read the inscribed data. 

The X account of Ordinals explorer Ord.io posted about the inscription, leading to jokes, speculation, and Rickrolls from X users speculating on the motive behind the actions. 

The process was enabled through the Ordinals protocol, which ascribes data to certain satoshis — the smallest unit of a Bitcoin. Ordinals are commonly used to store art directly on-chain, though all types of data can be inscribed, including encrypted text. 

The inscription isn’t the only apparently strange use of the Bitcoin blockchain recently. An anonymous wallet recently sent $1.2 million to the Genesis wallet mined by Satoshi Nakamoto. Funds from Satoshi’s wallets haven’t moved since 2010, meaning the money is most likely irretrievable. 

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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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