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The claiming of the cucumber

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3 years ago
Actually a Spreewald gherkin. Image adapted from [1]

So long, not-a-cucumber, and thanks for all the fun!

On December 15, 2019, Reddit user u/Bagatell_ became the first to crack the cucumber and find the secret (private) key hidden inside it.


In all my works in which I place a unique (NFT) token, I do expect that people transfer such tokens "to themselves" to really take possession. As long as it remains on an address to which the private key is discoverable by someone else, it can also be grabbed by someone else.

The SLP token in question [2] is a unique token on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain which is forever linked to this piece of work:

You can find SLP tokens on a Bitcoin Cash block explorer which supports tokens, e.g.

It identifies the work via a little abuse of the document URI field, which is set to the plain text 'Ceci n'est pas un concombre'. There is a bit of a chicken and egg problem in constructing a URI for a work and then putting that in the token you want to create for the work. But it can be done better. For the cucumber, I liked the fact that the URI already gave away that this token was related to the name of the drawing. In future I'll probably do this a bit differently. We are here to experiment, right?

There was also a small amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) deposited "on the cucumber", that is, on the BCH address which corresponds to the SLP token address.

Every SLP address also has an associated BCH address (cashaddr). You can find these in a block explorer such as if you click on an SLP address to view its details.

At the bottom of the following explorer screenshot, you can see the cashaddr corresponding to the original SLP address where the 'satoshi1/1' token was before Bagatell_ claimed it.

You can see the Cash Address associated to a token address on the explorer

The token and the small amount of BCH have since been moved to an address which only Bagatell_ controls. I hope he doesn't lose those keys :-D

Sneak peek at the inside of the cucumber

This is part of the document contained inside. Only those who unlock the cucumber or share its pips with others, know what the rest is (but you can well guess from the extract).

I am publishing this here so others can use it as a template in case they want to provide their own NFT-based art works.

Also, I think it contains some half-decent advice (valid at the time of writing this) about the state of SLP token claiming on Bitcoin Cash. [5]

Part of the instructions contained within the cucumber file.

Is this the end of the cucumber journey?

No! You can of course track satoshi1/1 's further path on the blockchain. If you can identify its current owner, you can make them an offer if you want to purchase the token from them! If they do not want to sell, there is little you can do except raise your offer.

However, you can still obtain the original cucumber image from behind the paywall at the original low, low price of 0.01200000 BCH!

I will now update the 'Making of' post with a few more details on the creation the SLP token and the embedding of the data inside the image. That might take a while, so check back on that a bit later (I will announce the availability of the update in my Memo "art shop" and in the comments below, probably also in the linked Reddit threads).

Is it still worth paying for the work even if you can't reclaim the unique token?

I think so! You'll get:

  • the full, framed 'Ceci n'est pas un concombre' original JPEG file

  • the ability to extract the original private key to it, which gives you an ability to sign statements demonstrating that you unlocked the cucumber yourself or are a pretty good social engineer/hacker (since I won't publish the actual original private key except for where it is now, locked inside the cucumber and in the hands of all those who have unlocked it)

  • ability to find the embarassing typo(s) I made in the document which in contained in the cucumber :(

  • a good feeling that you've supported my next crypto art project, and my writing on this platform to describe how the power of Bitcoin Cash and its token features can be used to benefit artists like me and you :)

Whether you support me via the paywall, or in tips on or elsewhere (Memo, Reddit), thanks in advance.

Yours cryptographically and learning together,

Pablo Picasho

Further Links

[1] Original "Spreewald gherkins with garlic" image by Kungfuman - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,




[5] Note: if you do come into possession of an SLP token private key and need to import / claim it, it's always worth testing it out with your software on some throwaway tokens which you can create yourself for almost free, before attempting it on the real thing. One small mistake can easily burn a token. Presumably the safety level of BCH wallets will increase over time to make this less of an issue, but this advice generally holds for everything you do in crypto - always try it out on some small, disposable amount or token.

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This is pretty cool!

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3 years ago

Glad you like it! obJoke:

Q: Where do cucumbers go for a date? A: The salad bar!

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3 years ago

😁 Nice!

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3 years ago