This message was included in a Bitcoin block after the Coinbase listing

Expect hidden messages to pop on Bitcoin every time something iconic happens. Yesterday, after crypto exchange Coinbase offered its shares to the public for the first time, a message embedded on the block contained a newspaper headline that screamed of government extravagance.

The Coinbase stamp

“On 03/Jan/2009, Satoshi coded a message into the Bitcoin Genesis Block. As a nod to Satoshi on our listing day, we asked F2pool to embed a message in the Bitcoin blockchain,” the firm revealed in a tweet yesterday.

The message—processed by Chinese mining player F2Pool on block 679187—read, “NYTimes 10/Mar/2021 House Gives Final Approval to Biden’s $1.9T Pandemic Relief Bill.” US president Joe Biden signed off the relief bill yesterday, one in many such bills to protect the economy from the perils of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Messages in Bitcoin?

The move was nothing random. Bitcoin’s first ever block, mined by none other than the protocol’s mysterious, pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, contained the now-historic headline from English daily The Times of that date. 

“Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks,” it read, a nod to banks absolutely hemorrhaging the financial system at the time (with copious amounts of fraud involved), and Bitcoin arriving in the midst of all that.

While Coinbase followed up with a nod of its own yesterday, there have been several such messages contained in Bitcoin blocks.

Incidentally, F2Pool itself stamped a message after it mined the Bitcoin ‘halving’ block last year. Like Nakamoto’s message, that one was a newspaper headline as well: “NYTimes 09/Apr/2020 With $2.3T Injection, Fed’s Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue.”

Not every message is a doom story, however. Miners have previously included prayers, a portrait of computer engineer Len Sassaman, a simulation of a creature, encoded photographs, the entire Wikileaks files, and the Bitcoin whitepaper itself.

Wonder what the next newspaper headline to find its way to a Bitcoin block would be?

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