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Proof of Life: Julian Assange Just Read Out a Bitcoin Block Hash to Prove He Was Alive

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 21:03
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by Alyssa Hertig, Coin Desk:

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange used data from the blockchain as a “proof of life” during a Reddit ask-me-anything session today.

For months, some of Assange’s ardent Internet fans have been theorizing that he had died. However, Assange responded in a livestreamed talk, calling the theories “silly” and confirming that the video wasn’t prerecorded by reading off the most recent block hash (a string of letters and numbers, unique to block 447506 on the bitcoin blockchain).

Assange said in the talk:

“Thinking about real-time proof-of-life, intellectually the most interesting one is to take the most recent block in the bitcoin blockchain.”

The idea is that as a bitcoin block hash is hard to produce, taking a global network of powerful computers to calculate it in an average interval of 10 minutes, it would be almost impossible to guess the string of letters and numbers.

However, that wasn’t to say that some doubters didn’t emerge.

The first time reading off the hash he made a small mistake. (Users in the chat room sidebar then reacted with messages like “DEAD” and “DEAD LUL”).

For Assange, the move isn’t exactly surprising though.

The statements come as the latest in what has been his long-standing support for the digital currency. Wikileaks was the first prominent organization to back the technology, using it as far back as 2012 to route value in the face of a blockade against its financial resources.

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