Reddit user discovers 7zip file possibly linked to Julian Assange hidden in Bitcoin blockchain

According to a post on the Reddit r/bitcoin community, an old file has been discovered that could be linked to Julian Assange, the whistleblower and founder of Wikileaks. The encrypted 7zip file is found in the output script of a transaction that took place on January 5, 2017 and was mined at block 446,713.

Speculation around the purpose of the 7zip file called “Julianassange.txt” found in the Bitcoin blockchain.

Among the thousands of entries added to the Bitcoin blockchain via Ordinaries, a 7zip file likely related to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was recently discovered. A Reddit user under the name “u/sprxzk34620” informed the r/bitcoin subreddit of the discovery. The post stated, “An encrypted 7zip file possibly related to Julian Assange is hidden in the Bitcoin blockchain.“The author also noted that the file could be obtained by splicing the pubkhash seg of all output scripts from a specific transaction.

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A Reddit user discovers a 7zip file potentially related to Julian Assange, hidden in the Bitcoin blockchain.
Redditor u/sprxzk34620 screenshot.

The encrypted 7zip file contains a file named ‘Julianassange.txt’, but attempts to crack the file failed“, the Reddit user adds. Commenters on the Reddit post asked why Assange would add this to the Bitcoin blockchain and other questions referenced speculation that he created a “dead man’s switch“. “It could be an encrypted link to the switch or files exposing secrets,“wrote one person. Others were dubious and said a zip file named “Julianassange.txt“looks like a hoax.

Coincidentally, the January 5, 2017 transaction with the 7zip file occurred five days before Assange read the Bitcoin blockchain hash of block height 447,506 in a recorded video. At the time, many believed that the whistleblower had used this tactic to prove that he was alive. Assange said at the time that he was unwell while confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

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Don’t take cryptographic evidence as proof that I’m okay“, he stressed at the time. “That is not the case. I was held here for eight years. I was not well during all that time.“Since then, Assange’s Ecuadorian asylum has been revoked and he was arrested, on April 11, 2019, during a police raid at the embassy. The contents of the 7zip file are unknown until someone manages to crack it, as it may not belong or be associated with Assange at all.

The Reddit post written by u/sprxzk34620 ended with a heated discussion about whether… l’adding arbitrary data to the bitcoin blockchain via’Ordinals was a legitimate practice, as it has been controversial among some bitcoin advocates. “If everyone is going to post stupid cat JPEGs on the blockchain, I can keep buying new hard drives for my node. Keep it compact guys“, said one Redditor.

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