On 19 June 2018, block #528,249 was discovered with a peculiar blockhash containing a highly improbable starting sequence of 18 consecutive zeros: ‘00000000000000000021e800c1e8df51b22c1588e5a624bea17e9faa34b2dc4a’. The ’21e8′ sequence following the zeros is also being interpreted by some as a reference to the unified field theory, i.e. the theory of everything that tries to unify all fundamental physics interactions into one theory (there is a website called 21e8.com based on a fractal from unified field theory).

This has caused speculation and conspiracy theories that perhaps this block was intentionally made, which would mean someone has created a powerful quantum computer or a time traveler from the future did this.

With an incredibly high hash rate of 1 exahash/s, which is about 1/40th of the entire Bitcoin mining hash rate, it would take 2,500 years to pre-determine the first 24 characters of the block hash. Therefore, if this block hash wasn’t a coincidence, then it would take some futuristic technology, like an extremely powerful quantum computer, to accomplish this feat.

Occam’s razor says that the simplest theory, the theory that makes the fewest assumptions, is probably correct. Therefore, this block hash is probably just a coincidence and was produced by normal modern-day Bitcoin mining equipment. This is especially likely since the block was found by a typical mining pool and not an individual computer, and the block contents were quite average at 1 MB with several thousand transactions.

Regardless of Occam’s razor, simplicity, and common sense, some of the cryptocurrency community has went into a frenzy over this block hash. Some have said that maybe a time traveler is trying to send us a message, or even that Satoshi Nakamoto is a time traveler to begin with and now he’s leaving us messages in block hashes. The more sane theories say that someone has developed a quantum computer with no time travel involved, specifically a man posting cryptic rants on Twitter.

Perhaps this will be the start of a new hobby where cryptocurrency enthusiasts watch block hashes come in on blockchain.info in expectation that more messages from time travelers will roll in.

 

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