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NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt Post Mortem — Transparency Report & Action Plan

NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt Post Mortem — Transparency Report & Action Plan

This is the official post mortem from Atocha Protocol team in regards NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt's overall report for transparency, reward distribution and the following action plan. First of all, we would like to thank the community for actively participating and solving the 30 puzzles that we have prepared throughout the NEARCON 2022 period (10th September 2022 to 14th September 2022). The Treasure Hunt is intended to gather 30 crypto projects together to form a Puzzle Treasure Hunt during NEARCON2022 event, which ultimately leads to a Final Puzzle that unlocks the Grand Prize. The competition is tight and we are thrilled to see that 95% of the rewards are valid to be claimed.

This announcement will cover the following topic:

  1. The Post Treasure Hunt Incident — What Happened?
  2. The Timeline — Grand Prize Winner Verification
  3. The Action — Atocha Team Next Move
  4. The Review — How To Do Better?

The Post Treasure Hunt Incident — What Happened?

The incident happened due to a mistake that was made by the team which was an earlier creation of the Final Puzzle than the initially announced time. The team sincerely apologise for the mistake and will take note of future events. This mistake led to different levels of misunderstanding and ultimately to the point of different players disputing the Grand Prize winner.

Here are the important parts of the NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt before someone dives into the details:

  1. NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt is carried out on a web2 interface ( The 30 puzzles created on the website have a clear statement of the total winners' allocation, total reward allocated, reward available to claim and creation time. Once each of the puzzles is solved by a player, a hidden message will be revealed with two main details: the clue piece to solve the grand puzzle and the method to claim this puzzle reward.
  2. In order for the players to claim the puzzle reward, one needs to tweet a specific message generated by each of the puzzles. Players can choose not to tweet but just to collect the clue piece for the Grand Prize. Each of the 30 puzzles has a different reward pool size, Atocha Team uses Twitter API to do a sweep for all player’s reward claim tweets, filter out the incorrect message and determine who’s on the reward list depending on their tweet’s timestamp.
  3. The Final Puzzle is created on-chain which is on Atocha Webapp ( The Puzzle creation TXID can be referred here: and the on-chain puzzle can be viewed here:
  4. There are two ways for players to access the Final Puzzle. One is directly viewed from Atocha Webapp ( and two are from the NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt website. Due to the mistake made by the team, the puzzle was created earlier than the mentioned time on the website.
  5. The dispute arose as players complained that when they saw the Final Puzzle, it was already solved by another player. The Final Puzzle’s rule is simple and clear: Whoever solved the puzzle created on-chain (on Atocha Webapp), the solver will be the rightful winner. In this case, the wallet owner that solved the Final Puzzle is deemed as the winner of the Grand Prize by Atocha Team.
  6. Another dispute was from a player named Mr.Liquid who claim cracked the Final Puzzle by activating a NEAR wallet (the Final Puzzle’s answer is the passphrase of this wallet). Even though Mr.Liquid is the first one to activate this wallet since its creation, the Grand Prize is only eligible for the one that solved the puzzle on-chain (on Atocha Webapp).
  7. There is another dispute that the Final Puzzle has an allocation of more than 1 winner by DM the answer to Atocha Protocol. All of these are not valid and as per the rule stated on the Final Puzzle created on-chain, the winner can only be 1 and it will be the one solving the Final Puzzle on Atocha Webapp.
  8. Once the winner is identified, there needs to be a verification process as the Grand Prize will be transferred to the winner’s NEAR wallet and not Polkadot JS wallet (the wallet used to interact with Atocha Webapp). The verification can be through the linking of Twitter account to the Polkadot JS wallet account which solved the puzzle or by doing a specific on-chain task which can be verified by the team.
  9. This process was further disputed by some players as insider dealing. Atocha Team is strongly against such accusation without any evidence. The integrity of the team to deliver a transparent and fair game is always the priority for Atocha Protocol. Hence, the decision was made by Atocha Team to not accept any Grand Prize Sponsor from the Partners of NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt. Instead, Atocha Team will take responsibility and pay for the Grand Prize.
  10. The 30 puzzles’ rewards will still remain and the list will be announced within 1 week. The reward claim method will be shared through the winner list announcement and eligible winners can follow the instructions to claim the rewards.

The Timeline — Grand Prize Winner Verification

Atocha Team has gathered the timeline for the Grand Prize Winner Verification. Note that the time stated is UTC timezone.

  1. 17:46 2022–09–10: Atocha Protocol team tweet to announce NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt Event begin and launch NEAR2ATO website;
  2. 11:54 2022–09–14: team finished the last batch of 9 puzzles and release them on NEAR2ATO website, team also planned to release the Final Puzzle online at 16:00 but wrongly put “6:00 PM” as the final puzzle’s release time on webpage;
  3. 14:59 2022–09–14: team send tweet, announcing the last batch of puzzles are online;
  4. 16:25 2022–09–14: 25 minutes later than planned, Atocha Team finished the Final Puzzle and released it to Atocha Protocol’s webapp, all online webapp users can see and solve this puzzle from that moment(but in order to crack it, people needs to solve all 30 puzzles on NEAR2ATO website to get clues);
  5. 17:25 2022–09–14: webapp user(5EkUNqgj8jBijAHScd78QSVy1LcpUw3U75chNi34ygh2yRdf) solved this puzzle, since that moment, the puzzle answer(a NEAR wallet’s passphrase) has revealed to the public;
  6. 12:33 2022–09–15: discord user @Khong contact Atocha Team claim he/she is the final puzzle’s solver;
  7. 21:27 2022–09–15: team send tweet to announce got the winner of the final grand puzzle;
  8. 10:53 2022–09–16: team contacted discord user @Khong, ask he/she connect webapp user account to twitter account to complete verification process, @Khong stated prefer stay anonymous on social media, later that day, @Khong verified to team that he/she owns the webapp user (5EkUNqgj8jBijAHScd78QSVy1LcpUw3U75chNi34ygh2yRdf) account by transfer a specific amount of ATOs from that account.

More details to share and support the above timeline:

The Action — Atocha Team Next Move

Here is the summary of the next moves of Atocha Team after this announcement:

  1. Atocha Team admitted that the mistake of releasing the Final Puzzle earlier than the time updated on NEAR2ATO website, but believes that it will not affect the fairness of the game as no players are exclusively more informed than others.
  2. For the Grand Prize of NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt, Atocha Team will not take any Sponsor Fund from the Partners including the main Sponsors (Near Marketing DAO and Octopus Network). The Grand Prize will be funded by Atocha team.
  3. The Grand Prize winner — webapp user (5EkUNqgj8jBijAHScd78QSVy1LcpUw3U75chNi34ygh2yRdf) will have the prize transferred accordingly to the verified NEAR wallet.
  4. Atocha team will provide compensation to players who missed the chance to win the Grand Prize due to the mistake. All players who are listed in the 30 Puzzles’ Winner List can get 10,000 ATO/Player compensation.
  5. The 30 puzzles’ winner list will be published on Twitter within 1 week time and the reward claiming method will be made available to all eligible winners.
  6. Atocha Team will open up for any enquiries for the Item 5 winner list. Once the winner list is announced, within 3 days, if anyone found that their account was missed out, please reply to that winner list announcement tweet, with your proof of puzzle reward claim message tweet URL. Atocha team will verify it and make amends to that list if necessary.
  7. Atocha team will notify the winner through Twitter DM and ask for the winner’s NEAR wallet, the puzzle reward and compensation will be transferred to that wallet. The TXID of the reward transfer will also be shared with the winner.

The Review — How To Do Better?

After this incident, Atocha Team has gone through a post-mortem whereby a list of improvement action plans has been drafted and implemented in the next Treasure Hunt.

  1. A clear rule book will be ready 1 week before the game start and to be published for the viewing of the public. Any inquiries can be made before the game starts and that will minimise the probability of dispute.
  2. Reduce the number of Partners in one single campaign. Due to the limitation of resources, we think that it will be optimal to have a maximum of 10 Partners in one campaign so that each project can get more exposure and attention.
  3. Automate the reward claiming method (through on-chain and Twitter API verification, which need time to explore and develop).
  4. Increase marketing budget for more players to get on board. The budget will be applied through NEAR Marketing DAO. The budget will not solely be for prizes.
  5. Improve the game experience by reducing the text on the screen and making more suitable graphics. Budget will be applied through NEAR Creative DAO. The budget will be solely for rewarding creative community members to contribute and get remunerated.
  6. Open communication channels will be created for the game (exploring different channels like comment box, Discord ticket chat, Telegram, Twitter, etc.).
  7. One of the main goals of the team to launch this NEAR2ATO Treasure Hunt Event is to attract more users to experience the fun of solving puzzles in the form of a simple webpage that does not require a crypto wallet. During this event, the team learned more about users’ needs for puzzle games and found many defects in our project. In the future, the team will continue to work hard on improving user experience and bring ticket-based gameplay mechanisms and Puzzle2NFT toolkit in the next big update, stay tuned.

Ending the Post Mortem with a credit post with the mention of all 30 Partners involved. We are grateful and hope to serve more projects in the coming Treasure Hunt/Game!

  1. Octopus Network
  2. Debio Network
  3. Myriad Social
  4. DEIP
  5. Unique One Network
  6. QSTN
  7. Near Insider
  8. Near Master
  9. Nearity
  10. Near Games Guild
  11. Near Nigeria Guild
  12. Near Vietnam Guild
  13. Near Malaysia Guild
  14. Near Singapore Guild
  15. Near France Guild
  16. Paras NFT Marketplace
  17. 3six9 NFT Marketplace
  18. Ref Finance
  19. Skyward Finance
  20. NEARStarter
  21. Near Stars Guild
  22. Aurora
  23. Near Foundation (NEARCON)
  24. Vision Chain
  25. Skyharbour (The Rust Guild)
  26. TenkDAO
  27. Mr. Brown NFT
  28. Near Misfits
  29. Together Coin
  30. Roketo

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