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| June 23, 2018

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Arguments Erupt Over Immigration at the White House

June 23, 2018 |

The White House has seen arguments erupt since President Trump signed an executive order to keep migrant families together at the US border, the New York Times reports. Sources say the quarrels began Thursday night and resumed Friday when Kevin McAleenan, who heads Customs and Border Protection, asked how his…


Suspected Chinese lasers target US aircraft over the Pacific

June 23, 2018 |

Lasers have been used to target US aerial operations in the Pacific, with 20 incidents recorded since September of last year, according to a US military official. – RSS Channel – World

White House split over hard-line stance on trade war with China

June 23, 2018 |

Some White House officials are trying to restart talks with China to avoid a trade war before U.S. tariffs on Chinese products take effect July 6, three people familiar with the plans said, setting up a battle with others in the administration who favor a harder line.

Staff of the National Economic…

L.A. Times – Business


Dollywood Sued for over $2 mil by Family for Serious Spine Injury on Water Ride

June 23, 2018 |

A fun family trip to the water park turned into a nightmare for a mother of 2 when her back got seriously jacked up on a ride … according to a new suit. A husband and wife are suing Dolly Parton’s famous theme park, Dollywood, claiming they took…

Intel CEO Resigns Over Relationship With Employee

June 23, 2018 |

Intel said Chief Executive Brian Krzanich resigned for violating company policy by having a relationship with a co-worker, one of the most prominent CEOs to lose a job in an era of greater scrutiny over workplace behavior. What’s News Asia

Latino non-profit faces questions over big money, involvement in immigrant kids’ housing

June 22, 2018 |

For decades, the Latino-run nonprofit charity was the belle of the ball.
FOX News

How Europe’s Opera Houses Won Over Millennials

June 22, 2018 |

With an escape game and networking parties, La Scala and the Paris Opera are attracting under-30 audiences What’s News Europe

Kane Leads England to Victory Over Tunisia

June 21, 2018 |

England is off to a winning start as Harry Kane leads team to victory with last-minute winner against Tunisia. What’s News Europe

Merkel’s Government Avoids Collapse Over Migrant Battle, at Least for Now

June 21, 2018 |

German Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a two-week reprieve in her confrontation with her coalition partner, averting at least temporarily avoiding a collapse of her government over migrants. What’s News Europe

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number

June 21, 2018 |

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number

00000000000000000021e800 – that’s 18 zeros followed by 21e8 and another two zeros – doesn’t look particularly remarkable. Nor does 00000000000000000021e800c1e8df51b22c1588e5a624bea17e9faa34b2dc4a, which is the complete hash it’s associated with. And yet this series of numbers and letters has sent the cryptosphere into overdrive, sparking talk of quantum computing breakthroughs, time travel, Satoshi’s return, and the hidden meaning of bitcoin.

Also read: Robinhood Reportedly Considering Formal Banking Services

One Row of Zeros, Infinite Possibilities

On June 19 at 19:32 UTC, block number 528249 was discovered by the BTC.TOP mining pool. On the face of it, there was nothing unusual about the block: it measured just over 1MB, had almost 6,500 inputs, 1,047 outputs, and 125 Segwit transactions. But when the block is viewed in an explorer such as Blockchair, something astonishing appears when you hover your cursor over the block hash: the number 00000000000000000021e800 appears.

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number

To some, the appearance of so many zeros, followed by 21 (a number synonymous with bitcoin’s total supply), is merely a coincidence; an occurrence as inevitable as a roulette wheel landing on red 18 times after half a million spins. To others, it’s a near-impossible feat that signals intervention from another world, be it celestial, extraterrestrial, or future.

The Mother of All Hashes

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit NumberIt was Mark Wilcox who discovered the oddity first, tweeting a hash of the block around 90 minutes after it was discovered. Half of crypto Twitter immediately began losing their minds, while the other half began scratching their heads. What was the significance of this hash – if, in fact, there was any?

Humans are programmed to see patterns in everything, and thus the fixation on 18 zeros in a row is understandable. But it’s what comes next in the block hash that’s equally startling, for those who like to be startled, or for anyone partial to pareidolia: perceiving a pattern where none exists. 21e8, also known as E8, refers to a Theory of Everything, also known as a Unified Field Theory. There’s even a website,, which displays a fractal pattern based on the elementary particle spin that forms a part of E8 theory.

The last time bitcoiners got all excited over a block hash beginning with an unusually high number of zeroes was when Satoshi mined the genesis block. After the fact, once bitcoin had developed a community, the significance of block hash 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f was pondered in a Bitcointalk forum thread. There are a number of unusual things about this hash: for one thing, it contains two hex zeroes more than were required, and for another, as we explained in a previous article on the genesis block:

“It took six days to mine. As speculated in an old Bitcointalk forum thread, this may have been yet another deliberate trick on the part of Satoshi, to mimic the biblical account of creation. As we read in Genesis 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested.”

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number

What Does It All Mean?

There are two ways that a block containing an unusually high number of zeroes could have came about: by accident or design. If it was the former, there is nothing to read into the significance of block 528249 commencing with 18 zeros; their presence is no more meaningful than any other string of numbers. If it is the latter, however, and someone inserted those numbers by design, then that individual has a level of computing power that is currently unattainable by several orders of magnitude.

It has been estimated that it would take 2,500 years to create that hash, working at a rate of 1 exahash/second (which represents around 2.5% of the current BTC network hashrate). For this feat to have occurred deliberately, it would had to have been performed on a yet undiscovered quantum computer, or by a time traveler taking advantage of future advancements in processing power. As theories go, this one’s pretty tinfoil, but there are those who believe that Satoshi Nakamoto was a time traveler.

Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number

Such matters are beyond the scope of this article. As a less sensational hypothesis, one writer has postulated that the hashed number could have been the work of Andrew DeSantis, who is working on a quantum computer, and regularly posts cryptic messages that have shades of E8 theory to them. DeSantis, for his part, has posted a series of responses to the original tweet that revealed the hash, suggesting that the odds of him hitting upon the number are infinitesimally small.

While the chances are that the hash of block 528249 is little more than an amusing coincidence, the mystery will fuel further speculation as to Satoshi Nakamoto’s whereabouts in space and time, the serendipity of the hashed genesis block, and the appearance of 18 consecutive zeros in another block, hashed nine years later.

Do you think there’s any significance in this number or are people overreacting? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter. With thanks to Jamie Redman for sourcing the dank memes.

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The post Why the Cryptosphere Is Losing Its Mind Over This 18-Digit Number appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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