Day 8 of “Crypto: The Game,” which ends on Friday, has been a tornado of emotions and strategic manoeuvring. 

The 10-day game is nearing its finale as the remaining 132 of us have played a role in voting off a total of 278 people since the start of the game last week. The last person standing will win 90% of the 41 ETH pot — about $89,000 at Wednesday’s price — with the other 10% being retained by the game’s organizers.

I started Wednesday with a sense of fluttering suspense, wondering what events would unfold. The first occurred when the game merged all players into a single tribe called “Barramundi,” the name of a tribe from season two of “Survivor” that was initially two tribes that decided to combine into one. 

Read More: Day 6 of ‘Crypto: The Game’ Brutally Exposes the Problem of Trust in a Digital World

Drama erupted shortly afterwards when Josh Harris, an entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Paradigm, wrote a Google document proposing an alliance where those in it would split the winning pot. Joining the alliance meant agreeing on two things: eliminating “a dramatic amount of non-members,” and splitting the pot “with all members of the Alliance, regardless of who gets eliminated afterwards.” 

Harris, who was on my initial team, the Silver Tribe, shared with players a link to a Telegram group chat dedicated to the alliance he proposed.

Invoking the Bell Curve Meme

However, not all contestants were on board with the plan. For example, Christian Dittmeier, the co-founder of NFT-focused software development firm, who helped the Orange Tribe win the first immunity challenge, poked fun at the pot-splitting idea, using the bell curve meme.

The meme is a joke based on the statistical concept known as the “bell curve” or “normal distribution.” The idea is that those with the highest and lowest intelligence make up the smallest percentage of all people and that those two groups often come to the same conclusion. By contrast, those in the middle with average intelligence, who people sometimes derogatorily call “midwits,” have a tendency to overcomplicate simple issues. 

In my efforts to gather intel, I continued to chat with players, listening to their motivations and finding out how they were holding up. 

Read More: ​​‘Crypto: The Game’ Is Ruthless. But So Far, I’m a Survivor

The Hit List

I heard rumors that players were circulating a hit list, a Google spreadsheet containing information on at least 58 contestants, such as their wallet address, Twitter handle, and whether they were part of a “cabal,” or a political clique that possesses power. 

I couldn’t shake the feeling that my name might be on it, potentially making it the second time I had a target on my back. I believe I survived the first time by playing Flappy Bird well enough to not place last in the previous challenge. The tension was now palpable. I reached out to several players and navigated hours of text conversations, probing as delicately as I could to gauge the seriousness of this hit list. 

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that my fears were not unfounded — my name was on the list! One potential reason why I was on the list was that I had hopped into the Telegram chat Harris shared proposing an alliance to split the pot. I simply wanted to see what people were talking about, but some may have taken my perusing of the chat to mean I had officially joined it. 

The revelation that I was on the hit list sent shockwaves through my brain, prompting a swift reassessment of where I stood. Panic threatened to set in, but I reminded myself that survival in most situations is based on adapting and changing one’s assumptions in the face of dynamic circumstances. 

I’m now doing my best to get my name off of any kill list by doing what I have been doing consistently: listening to people and chatting with them to get them on my side. The next voting round, which will reduce the number of players by an unspecified amount, is set to occur at 8 p.m. EST. 

Hopefully, I will live to play another day.

CORRECTION Feb. 9, 2:15 p.m. ET: Headline and lead paragraph changed to reflect that it was Day 8 and not Day 7 of the 10-day game.