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Detailed Instructions on How to Play a Bitcoin BrainWallet Scavenger Hunt Game

Published on July 19th, 2014 by jratcliff63367
In today's article I am going to discuss how you can play a Bitcoin BrainWallet scavenger hunt game.  My goal is to explain, as simply as possible, the basic mechanics of how to play the game assuming a target audience who does not yet know a lot about bitcoin.   I am going to try to keep this article short and as simple as possible while still covering all of the steps necessary to play.


There is no question that there are easier ways to play a trivia game than the way I am presenting here today.  However, there is something fascinating about the idea of embedding games directly into the bitcoin blockchain using this approach.  I worked with another programmer to create an automated script that makes it very easy for me to post new contests in the future.


All contests in upcoming weeks will be announced on the Let's Talk Bitcoin network. If you would like to help design some scavenger hunts, here is a link to a design document explaining how to get started. 


So here is how you play the game, and this is assuming you know little about how to use the blockchain.info and brainwallet websites.  These games need to be played using a desktop web-browser as they would be difficult, if not impossible, to play on a mobile device.


Step #1 : You need a bitcoin wallet on blockchain.info.  Go to the blockchain.info website and create a wallet there if you don't already have one. 


Step #2 : Ok, now you are ready to play.  Let's start by trying to answer a trivia question in the theme of Science Fiction and Fantasy authors. Your first clue is the word 'Grok'.  Since you have read the famous novel 'Stranger in a Strange Land' you know immediately that the answer is 'Heinlein'.


Step #3 : Check to see if your answer is correct.  You do that by going to the brainwallet website and entering your answer in the field that says 'Passphrase'.  You should see a screen like this:





Step #4 : In the field marked 'address' you will see the following bitcoin public key: 1LWyjRXLfXPrKSATCMfwL9ggiNwYTHDF8B  In your web-browser, in either a new tab or new window, go to blockchain.info and in the upper right corner look where it says 'Search'.  Copy and Paste the bitcoin public key address from the 'Address' field on the brainwallet.org page and into the search field of blockchain.info, then hit enter. You should see the following:




Step #5 : If you see a transaction on the page with 'Public Note' and the next clue, then you guessed correctly!   The 'Public Note' is the clue to the next question in the brainwallet scavenger hunt game.  If, however, you do not see a clue, then you answered the question incorrectly.


Step #6 : You can see on this page that it says 'Final Balance' is zero.  This means that someone has already taken the prize money that was stored at this location.  However, let's assume for a moment that you are the first person to get the answer to this question correctly, then you would want to claim the prize money for yourself.  Here is how you would do that.


Step #7 : Go back to the brainwallet.org page where you had previously entered the correct answer.  Now look at the field marked 'Private Key' which contains the following string: "5J6aUoL6BHyHuShvTMhnQhvvgPRJy1eXWKMUN9CcmBmS4kF5rXU"


This is the 'private key' which gives the holder the permission to spend any bitcoins held at this address.


So, assuming that you were the first person here and there is still money left at this location, here is how you 'claim' it for yourself.  Back at your blockchain.info wallet click on the button marked 'Import / Export'.  The site will pop up and ask you if you 'Understand' the implications of importing a key into your wallet.  Accept that.


Now you will see a button marked 'Add Private Key' paste the private key from the Brainwallet page there.



After you click on the button 'Add Private Key' you will get the following page:



Here you want to select 'Sweep Key'.  This will cause the blockchain.info website to initiate a bitcoin transaction that will send the money from that prize page address directly into your own wallet, less a small transaction fee.  Once you have done this you will have 'claimed the funds' and they will be yours!


Step #8 : Now that you have successfully answered the first trivia question, it's time to continue on to the second one.  As you saw before, the clue to the next question is 'Mule'.  For those who are well versed in their classic science fiction they will immediately recognize that this is a reference to the famous 'Foundation' series by Isaac Asimov, where one of the key characters goes by the enigmatic name of 'Mule'.


Before you head over to the brainwallet page and enter 'Asimov' as the passphrase you need to know the rules.  Since we are answering a series of trivia questions in sequence, the passphrase is actually the first answer plus the second answer combined, separated by a plus symbol.


This makes the correct password for the second question: 'Heinlein+Asimov'.  This gives us the following public key: 1BbyWPJj2xkcTaXMokTrfECfim16zEeVFf which leads us to our next clue.


This is how the game works, you just keep following the blockchain looking for clues in sequence until you hit the end and claim the grand prize.  Even if someone else has already taken all of the prizes, the game can still be fun to play, so long as people avoid posting spoilers anywhere.


For the example game discussed above, here are the rest of the clues and answers.


The next clue at that location is 'Corey'.  This was an intentionally very difficult question, the one that stumped most people.  I did eventually give out some additional hints but the person who got the answer first did so without any additional hints.


One of my favorite fantasy series of all time is 'The Amber' series by Roger Zelazny.  In most of the books in this series the main character is Prince Corwin.  However, his name on our earth was 'Carl Corey'.



Since the answer was Zelazny this led to the following brain wallet passprhase:




Which can be found here on the blockchain:



The clue found here was 'Teg'.  Since 'Teg' is a pretty unique name I don't know how difficult this one really was going to be for people to figure out.  One of my favorite science fiction series of all time is 'Dune' by Frank Herbert.  I hoped to make this one a little bit tricky since even though 'Miles Teg' is a major character in the Dune series, he doesn't show up until the later books which not everyone has read.



This leads us to the following brain wallet passphrase:





The clue we find here is 'Fireman'.  This might have been considered difficult if you didn't know what the genre was but, since the genre is science fiction and 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury is one of the most famous science fiction books of all time, I didn't think this one was too difficult.  In the book, the main character 'Guy Montag' has the job title of 'fireman' who is hired to burn books.



One my key goals with these clues was to make sure that you couldn't simply do a Google search and get the answer.  For example, 'Teg' is a pretty unique name but if you do a Google search on it it turns out to be an acronym for a ton of companies unrelated to any science fiction series.



With this final answer we have completed the puzzle to form this brain wallet phrase:




This leads us to the following location on the blockchain:



Here you can see a note of congratulations to the winner and a larger cash prize of 30 millibits which was taken by reddit user /u/coinsbit

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