People love to play games and solve puzzles. Crypto art puzzles have been around for a few years, and they seem to be getting more attention. Crypto games are another area that could spur more interest in blockchain technology.

The idea of a crypto art that hides a puzzle which pays cash is a new one. There aren’t many precedents for something that is both art and a paying puzzle. Marguerite deCourcelle is given credit for inventing that crypto art genre, and her works have been sought after by collectors.

Bitcoin Art & Puzzles

Crypto art works on at least two levels. First, it is artwork that already has an emerging following. Secondly, it is interactive in the sense that viewers can look for the clues that lead them to a crypto-based payoff.

Crypto Art is a Versatile Medium

Marguerite deCourcelle works under the pseudonym @coin_artist. Her oil pastel from 2015, called, ‘Torched H34R7S’, held a prize of 5 BTC.

The work was the last in her ‘ The Legend of Satoshi Nakamoto‘ series and was solved in 2018 when the bitcoins were worth 50,000 USD. It also featured chess pieces, a turtledove, and a phoenix surrounded by flames, all of which have meaning for her.

Bitcoin Art


DeCourcelle isn’t alone in the world of crypto art. Artist Andy Bauch created a collection of mosaics, called ‘New Money’ earlier this year. The series was displayed at the Castelli Art Space in Los Angeles. Bauch used Lego blocks to create patterns in a 4-by-9-foot horizontal triptych. The patterns also revealed clues to hidden crypto prizes, all of which were solved by the time the exhibition went public.

Bauch commented that,

“How seemingly arbitrary art prices are, and seeing crypto prices fluctuating wildly, I was curious,” and asked, “Will the cryptocurrency I put in this art appreciate? Will the art itself appreciate regardless of the cryptocurrency?”

Despite the fact that the crypto prizes were gone, three of his pieces from the exhibition sold, one of which fetched $14,000 USD. Bauch had circulated pictures of the art prior to the opening, which is why the hidden prizes had been found prior to their public debut.

Everyone Loves a Mystery

For now, it looks like crypto art is limited to traditional forms of art, but the potential for a new form of art-based crypto game is real. Steven Spielberg recent science fiction blockbuster ‘Ready Player One’, explored a future where a seemingly open source video game has become a global sensation.

Blockchain is the perfect platform to create a virtual world where the code itself is the governing regulation, and no single entity has the power to override the rules on a whim. While blockchain gaming technology is in its early stages, it could be the technology to bridge the gaps between gaming, money and reality.

Crypto Kitties were wildly popular within the crypto community, but they lacked a User Interface (UI) which would have allowed a wider range of potential users (among other issues).


The underlying idea of unique items that don’t require the use of a third-party to establish ownership is probably the foundation on which the next generation of virtual worlds will be built on, albeit over a time frame that could frustrate the current generation of crypto enthusiasts.

An Immense Market

It is hard to imagine how a platform like Second Life would’ve looked to someone who was used to board games. Even the early TV-based console games didn’t give people an idea of how MMORPGs would change the way that people entertain themselves.

We could still be in the early stages of a big shift in how people use electronics and connectivity, and cryptos will probably be integrated into gaming sooner than many think right now.

The first few generations of MMORPGs have created a huge global market for virtual, interactive worlds. With the rise of AR/VR and blockchain-based record keeping, there is no telling where online gaming could evolve to over the next 20 years.

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Posted by Nicholas Say

Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.

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