Q: That means, somewhere, on some page, my private key is listed?



Q: Is this real?
A: Yes.

Q: Is this fake?
A: No.

Q: Are my bitcoins safe?
A: Yes.

Q: Is this a joke?
A: Sort of.

Q: Is this a prank?
A: No.

Q: What’s the difference between a prank and a joke?
A: joke: a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.
prank: a practical joke or mischievous act.

Q: Can I search by private key?
A: Yes. @see API documentation.

Q: Should I search by private key?
A: No. I log and steal everything.

Q: Is there a RESTful API?
A: Yes.

Method Resource Description Media Type

GET /:page_no Fetches a page text/html
GET /warning:understand-how-this-works!/:private_key Finds a page by private key text/html

Q: How does this work?
A: Private keys are a number.
Private keys can be very large numbers.
Private keys can be very small numbers.

A private key with the value 0 would generate the address: 16QaFeudRUt8NYy2yzjm3BMvG4xBbAsBFM
A private key with the value 1 would generate the address: 1EHNa6Q4Jz2uvNExL497mE43ikXhwF6kZm
A private key with the value 2 would generate the address: 1LagHJk2FyCV2VzrNHVqg3gYG4TSYwDV4m
A private key with the value 127 would generate the address: 1FB8cZijTpRQp3HX8AEkNuQJBqApqfTcX7

For every page requested, 128 keys are generated.
For page 1, private keys with the value 0 to 127 are generated.
For page 2, private keys with the value 128 to 255 are generated.
For page 3, private keys with the value 256 to 383 are generated.

For page P, private keys with the value (P-1) * 128 to (P-1) * 128 + 127 are generated.

Q: So you don’t store a database of every single key?
A: No.

Q: All keys are generated on the fly, based upon the page number?
A: Yes.

Q: That means, somewhere, on some page, my private key is listed?
A: Yes. But it will never be found. Ever. Because math. (@see http://redd.it/1rurll)

Q: Why did you originally post this as “All bitcoin private keys leaked!”?
A: #bitcoin-dev December 01 2013
| 14:03 saracen : In a similar vein to this http://pastebin.com/2qbRKh3R, I leaked all the bitcoin private keys: http://directory.io - Now I just have to hope “reseachers” don’t attempt to download every page.
| 14:07 sipa : haha!

Q: I heard this cost billions in a panic sell off. Is that correct?
A: No.

Q: But it made the price fall, right?
A: No.

Q: What made the price fall?!
A: shrug

Q: Are donations really welcome?
A: No.


I saw this on Twitter a few days ago (via Peter Todd) and didn’t look into it, but momentarily the question “are my private keys there?” came up, as I’m sure it would for most crypto people. I expect quite a few will not realise the stupidity of searching for them in their panic over the possibility they are there.

I think this is a much a scam as it is a prank. Glad you explained it - I was curious but didn’t bother to Google :slight_smile:


FYI This FAQ was in the post http://directory.io/faq It was not clearly defined tho.

Crazyness on the web, eh? LOL!

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Page 1 out of 904625697166532776746648320380374280100293470930272690489102837043110636675
I’m not going to click ‘next’ to the end…


Would be one way to build a list of private keys. Get people to search for them and record the search string.

Could even be more tricky and have the search function refuse to search unless the search text is a valid private key.

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If it took him one year to do this then he was calculating 10^67 keys per second

That is on the order of 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Million keys per second

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And if you live long enough to click next (e.g 1 click per second) until the last page is reached, you’ll still be clicking when the Sun becomes a black dwarf.

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This video gives a good idea how big 2^256 is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9JGmA5_unY