By: Liberty Laura
On August 5, Edward Snowden tweeted a mysterious hex code with no explanation, as well as a tweet saying “It’s time.”
Since then, both tweets have been deleted, and Snowden has not been active on social media for 6 days.
Sputnik News suggests the hex code tweeted (pictured above) “traces to a bitcoin transaction in the amount of ‘0.000911’ leaving some wondering if it is a cyber distress signal.”
Edward Snowden’s unexplained tweet of a 64-character hex code on Friday led many to question whether the message was a “dead man’s switch,” an automatic message set to release if the user is killed or captured, which, in that event, would prompt friends and journalists to release documents.
Alternate narratives were quickly proposed, including one purported to be by the whistleblower’s girlfriend, saying that he had been killed, while others speculated that the encrypted tweet, which was quickly erased, was a signal by an alive and well Edward Snowden, ahead of a major document release.
User Bobanaut, on the bitcoin subreddit, tested Snowden’s message as a private key hash on the bitcoin blockchain, which traced to transactions between two addresses on Sunday. The first transaction logged was in the amount of 0.000911 BTC, suggesting that Snowden was using the cryptocurrency to convey a cryptic 911 distress signal, after the emergency telephone number used in the United States.
“I think the transaction sum of 0.000911 BTC could be a call for help,” opined Bobanaut. Other commenters pointed out the statistical impossibility that the 64-character hex code used by Snowden could be an unintentional hash in a bitcoin transaction.