Bobby Lee’s hacking challenge

Having just surpassed the milestone of 21 million dollars worth of cryptocurrency secured by Ballet wallets, Ballet CEO Bobby Lee has issued a hacking challenge to demonstrate confidence in the security of Ballet’s two-factor private key generation process. As an incentive, he has put 2 BTC at stake for anyone who can crack a REAL Series wallet.

Ballet two-factor private keys are generated using the open-source BIP38 protocol. Each Ballet wallet contains an encrypted private key and a corresponding passphrase, and both pieces of information are required in order to spend any of the coins stored on the wallet. BIP38 was created by some of the leading Bitcoin developers and has proven to be safe for many years.

In this challenge there are two Ballet REAL Series wallets that have each been loaded with 1 BTC by Bobby Lee. Each wallet has one of the two components of the private key exposed – the tamper-evident sticker concealing the encrypted private key has been removed from one and the scratch-off material concealing the passphrase has been removed from the other. 

In order to win Bobby’s BTC, you simply need to take the coins. Given the BIP38 encrypted private key, can you find the passphrase? Given the passphrase, can you find the encrypted private key? You can use brute force computation or any other method to crack a BIP38 two-factor private key. This challenge will remain open until at least August 2021.

You can track the status of the challenge here: