Pascal Boyart has caused a buzz among French crypto enthusiasts by including puzzles in his street art. He is known for weaving a series of seed words throughout each painting – and if the public can identify all of these words and put them in the right order, they can unlock access to a private key holding a crypto prize.
An example of these competitions came in a recent piece called Freedom Guiding The People. Mr Boyart painted the mural in Paris, and it shows a woman holding the French flag aloft as she is surrounded by protesters in hi-vis jackets – a nod to the “Yellow Vest” protests which have been taking place for several months. All of the seed words were linked to this movement, including:
“Banker. Usury. Lie. People. Fight. Hope. Union. Citizen. Lead. Triumph. Yellow. Horizon.”
It took about a week for someone to complete the puzzle and claim the 0.26 Bitcoin jackpot, which is worth about $1,000 at today’s rates.
“This space is full of surprises”
Mr Boyart’s murals also feature a QR code where fans can make donations to his art via Bitcoin. On Reddit, the artist revealed the address had received one whole Bitcoin (worth about $4,000) – the largest such donation to date.
In total, the street artist estimates that he has received 1.14 Bitcoin, 5 Bitcoin Cash and 1.25 Litecoin over the past year.
“Thanks to the crypto community for your generosity, this space is full of surprises. Can’t wait to do more murals to spread crypto!”
Mr Boyart’s uplifting post has attracted dozens of posts from well-wishers, but one respondent urged him to think carefully about using QR codes on his paintings to attract donations – expressing fear that a criminal could paint over it with their own QR code in order to steal funds intended for his account.