Larva Labs, the creators of Cryptopunks, Autoglyphs and Meebits, hid a secret NFT prize almost a year ago. Twitter user and NFT enthusiast @andrewbadr and his friends were the ones who found it. Find out how they did it.
If you closely follow the NFT space, you might have seen that PROOF Collective dropped 20 artworks by 20 anonymous artists. Members of Proof could each pick a piece to mint. The names were only revealed after all the pieces were minted. #11 turned out to be Larva Labs’ and it wasn’t just any artwork, but a prototype of their pivotal Autoglyphs project.
Cracking the code
@andrewbadr continued to explain how he sleuthed his way to the secret NFT prize: “The night of the reveal (March 5th), “iceman” in the Proof Collective chat room posted this.” In this tweet, @andrewbadr was referring to a message that asked whether the Ls in the NFT were generated by coincidence or not.
“His message caught my eye right away, because that part of the image really did look separate from the main part of the artwork. Also, the Ls weren’t in any kind of regular pattern, so they seemed more than ornamental,” explained @andrewbadr.
“If you look closely at that top row, there are two shapes: regular and upside-down Ls. I wrote a script to parse the image and turn those shapes into 0s and 1s. As it turned out, there were exactly 256 bits—divisible by 8—so the first thing I tried was interpreting them as ASCII.”
With a little help from his friends
@andrewbadr managed to find a message, which turned out to be “SECRET IS IN THE PIG NUMBERS, LL”. After @andrewbadr cracked the code on March 5, he recruited a few friends to help him solve the puzzle.
They quickly pointed out that coming from Larva Labs, the “pig” reference probably referred to the pig Meebits. After spending a few days exploring false leads, they realized that some of the pigs have jersey numbers. Looking at only these 64 Meebs with the Snoutz Jerseys, they once again spent hours chasing dead ends.
@andrewbadr and his friends finally managed to decipher the code. He explained, “Finally, what worked is concatenating a hex string out of the 64 jersey numbers, and interpreting that as an Ethereum private key! There was 0.025 ETH in the corresponding account, and looking closer revealed a pig Meebit prize in there as well.”
Larva Labs’ recent news shocked the community
@andrewbadr’s story followed the news of Yuga Labs’ recent acquisition of the IP of Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks and Meebits. In a blog post, Larva Labs admitted their skills no longer fit the requirements of the PFP sector within the NFT space. However, even though they sold off the IP, Larva Labs will still launch new projects.