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As cryptocurrency becomes more popular and more grounded on the financial scene, it is also securing its place in popular culture, including street art. Well known street artist Pascal Boyart (also known as Pboy) has produced a mural painting in Paris, that depicts the protests that have been occurring in France over the last few months. The mural also contains a puzzle with $1,000 worth of Bitcoin hidden within.
The protests started on November 17 in the country’s capital Paris. Protesters were originally protesting the rise in fuel tax, but the protests have since expanded to cover a host of social issues. The issue is nuanced and the protests have escalated to violence and caused much social unrest in France. French President Macron has been given the nickname “president of the rich” after receiving criticism for cutting the tax rate for the super rich, and then raising the fuel tax, which will affect the poor, the argument goes. This is the most challenging time in Macron’s presidency.
The painting by Pboy is based on the oil painting of Eugène Delacroix depicting the 1830 July revolution. The artist tweeted:
#StreetArt treasure hunt in Paris with a #Bitcoin puzzle— Pascal Boyart (@pascalboyart) January 7, 2019
For the 10th birthday of the genesis block, I painted this frescoe in Paris with a 0,26btc ($1000) puzzle in it.
Here's the public key: 1NqPwPp7hEXZ3Atj77Ue11xAEMmXqAXwrQ Thanks to @alistairmilne for sponsoring this 🙏 pic.twitter.com/F7aIkxmp6t
At press time, the mural is still unsolved with the 0.2845 BTC still remaining.
This isn’t the first time Pboy has expressed his support of cryptocurrency through his art. In October 2018 on Bitcoin’s 10th birthday, an art exhibition was held in France in which Pboy included a Bitcoin treasure hunt in his artwork.
Pboy’s latest painting has been trending on Twitter with many people pledging their support and asking for an international version to be created. Pboy has stated that the puzzle can not be solved remotely, and so is only open to those close to the painting who can visit it in person. The need to be physically present to solve the puzzle has caused many people online to speculate how the puzzle works. Reddit user fantablob suggests:
“The clues must be in the surroundings then, not the painting itself. Perhaps the characters are staring at these clues. Follow their gaze and see where it leads. Google Street View might help.”
Another Reddit user, FUBAR-BDHR suggests:
“Or it has some 3D and you have to look at it from different angles.”
Whatever the case may be, Boyart certainly found a way to raise awareness both to himself and to cryptocurrency.