Table of Contents
- Investigation Reveals Identity
- Data Backs Claims About Hacker’s Identity
- Is Crypto Truly Anonymous?
- A Little Backstory On The Ethereum DAO
An investigation carried out by Laura Shin and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis has claimed to identify the person behind The DAO hack of 2016. The Ethereum DAO hack has been one of the longest and most intriguing mysteries in the crypto space.
The investigation by Chainalysis and Laura Shin, along with several supporting clues, have potentially revealed the identity of the perpetrator.
Investigation Reveals Identity
After six long years, journalist and podcaster Laura Shin and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis have claimed that their investigation has revealed the hacker’s identity behind the hack of The DAO. According to Shin and Chainalysis, the person behind the theft of $60 million worth of ETH from The DAO is former TenX CEO Toby Hoenisch. Hoenisch denied the accusation, calling the statement factually inaccurate.
There is further evidence to link Hoenisch to the hack, with some suggesting that the former TenX CEO went out of his way to troll Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. He also made several references to the hack, stating on one occasion that “too big to fail is failure guaranteed.” Members of the Ethereum community have also described Hoenisch as an obnoxious individual who thought he knew more than everyone else.
Data Backs Claims About Hacker’s Identity
Shin stated that the transaction data backs up her claim regarding the identity of the hacker. Chainalysis research shows that the hacker had sent 50 BTC to a Wasabi wallet and attempted to hide transaction history. The analytics firm was able to follow the funds, revealing that they were sent to four different exchanges.
Shin managed to contact an employee at one of the exchanges who revealed that the funds were exchanged for the privacy coin Grin and sent to a Grin node, grin.toby.ai. Shin discovered that the node in question’s IP address also hosted Bitcoin Lightning Nodes, ln.toby.ai and lnd.ln.toby.ai. It also had a node called TenX. Shin also revealed that Hoenisch was using the handle @tobyai on several social media handles. Shin also claimed that Hoenisch was familiar with The DAO’s code and knew what weaknesses it had, having communicated about them to slock.it about them.
Is Crypto Truly Anonymous?
The investigation has also put into perspective the anonymity of cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions, especially in the face of new technologies. According to Shin, the anonymity of crypto is dwindling in the face of intense regulatory pressure and the fact that public blockchains allow all transactions to be traced.
A Little Backstory On The Ethereum DAO
The Ethereum DAO was launched in 2016 and was intended to act as an investor-directed venture capital firm. The DAO was also one of the first crowdfunding efforts and one of the most high-profile projects on Ethereum at the time. However, shortly after its launch, The DAO was hacked and led to one of the most controversial moments in the history of crypto, the hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain.
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