ZachXBT’s Defamation Lawsuit Receives Over $1 Million in Donations as Prominent Figures Rally Support

In a surprising turn of events, renowned on-chain analyst ZachXBT has exceeded his initial fundraising target, amassing a staggering $1,055,233 in donations, according to Nansen data. This remarkable achievement has been made possible through contributions from various entities and influential figures within the crypto industry.

Prominent supporters include Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Coinbase Cloud’s protocol lead Viktor Bunin, CertiK, Justin Sun, Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell, and Polygon’s founder Sandeep Nailwal.

Changpeng Zhao, in a tweet, expressed Binance’s commitment by pledging $50,000 to the cause, while urging ZachXBT to persevere in his fight and emphasizing the importance of transparency in the industry.

Jesse Powell also expressed gratitude for ZachXBT’s work and pledged a donation of 10 ETH.

Brown Rudnick partner Palley, along with Jess Meyers and the team at Brown Rudnick, expressed their honor in representing ZachXBT’s mission to speak truth to power.

Sandeep Nailwal, founder of Polygon, praised individuals like ZachXBT for their contributions and pledged 5 ETH to support the legal battle.

The lawsuit filed by Huang accuses ZachXBT of damaging his reputation through false allegations made in an article published by ZachXBT approximately a year ago. Huang vehemently denies the allegations and is determined to prove their falsity through the legal proceedings. In a recent tweet, Huang stated that he initially expected an apology and expressed his intention to donate any monetary compensation received to charity.

Huang Licheng(Jeffrey Huang),known as MachiBigBrother on Twitter, a former American-Taiwanese musician and technology entrepreneur, had been involved in a controversial incident in 2018 when he allegedly misappropriated 22,000 ETH from Formosa Financial. Furthermore, over the past four years following the collapse of Formosa Financial, Huang has been associated with a series of unsuccessful token launches and NFT projects.

In response to the lawsuit, ZachXBT expressed disappointment and asserted that the legal action taken against him is an attempt to stifle free speech. He remains resolute in his commitment to fight back and defend the principles of free expression.

To cover the legal expenses and protect the freedom of speech, ZachXBT has set up a donation wallet address for his followers and the wider community.This legal dispute has garnered significant attention within the industry, with key players showing their support for ZachXBT’s cause. The influx of donations and the rallying behind the principle of free speech highlight the crypto community’s dedication to transparency, accountability, and the pursuit of truth.


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Kokomo Finance Accused of $4M Exit Scam

Kokomo Finance, an open-source and noncustodial lending protocol on Optimism, has been accused of an exit scam worth $4 million. The protocol allegedly plucked user funds via a smart contract loophole, causing the Kokomo Finance token to plummet 95% in value in a matter of minutes. Blockchain security firm CertiK alerted its followers to the situation in a tweet on March 26.

According to CertiK, the deployer of the KOKO token attacked the smart contract code of a wrapped Bitcoin token, cBTC, by resetting the reward speed and pausing the borrow function. An address beginning with “0x5a2d..” then approved the new cBTC smart contract to spend over 7000 Sonne Wrapped Bitcoin (So-WBTC). The attacker then called another command to swap the So-WBTC to the 0x5a2d address, which produced a $4 million profit, according to the security firm.

CertiK also noted that Kokomo Finance removed all social media accounts immediately following the alleged rug pull. The protocol rose up the ranks quickly in recent days, with blockchain data platforms like CoinGecko and DefiLlama officially tracking it shortly after Kokomo Finance went live on Optimism on March 25. Recent screenshots reveal that more than $2 million was locked into Kokomo Finance prior to it falling more than 97%.

Over 72% of the total value locked in the Kokomo Finance protocol came in the form of wrapped Bitcoin, according to data from DefiLlama. While most aspects of the audit were passed, “typographical errors” were found, and the owner of the KOKO token was also found to have a one-time ability to mint 45% of the maximum supply to an arbitrary address.

Kokomo Finance is a lending protocol that enables users to trade for wBTC, Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Dai (DAI). It operates on the Optimism layer 2 scaling solution, which allows for faster and cheaper transactions on the Ethereum network.

The exit scam allegations against Kokomo Finance have raised concerns about the security of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. While DeFi has enabled greater financial freedom and accessibility for users, it has also brought with it new risks and challenges. Smart contract vulnerabilities and security loopholes can be exploited by bad actors, as in the case of Kokomo Finance.

Despite this incident, the DeFi space continues to grow and evolve, with new protocols and platforms emerging all the time. As the industry matures, it is likely that greater attention will be paid to security and risk management, in order to protect users and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.


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Scammers escape discovery by utilising black market identities

A blockchain security company by the name of CertiK discovered the startling revelation that persons who commit bitcoin fraud have access to a “cheap and easy” black market of individuals who are willing to put their name and face on fraudulent projects for the modest price of $8. The identities of these KYC players might also be used by criminals to register bank accounts or exchange accounts in their own names, which is another possibility.

Researchers from CertiK discovered over 20 underground marketplaces that hire KYC actors for as little as $8 for basic “gigs.” These “gigs” include meeting the KYC criteria “to open a bank or exchange account from a developing country.” You may access these marketplaces via Telegram, Discord, smartphone applications, and websites that specialize in gigs.

CertiK made the observation that the majority of performers appear to be exploited because they live in developing countries “with an above-average concentration in South-East Asia” and are paid between $20 and $30 for each role that they play. Additionally, CertiK noted that the majority of these performers live in South-East Asia.

CertiK has issued a warning that more than 40 websites that claim to analyze cryptocurrency projects and award “KYC badges” are “useless” due to the fact that their services are “too superficial to detect fraud or simply too amateurish to detect insider threats.” CertiK believes that this is the case because the websites are “too superficial to detect fraud or simply too amateurish to detect insider threats.”

In October, Mastercard made the announcement that it will be launching a new solution for the identification and prevention of fraud. This new solution takes use of both artificial intelligence and the data stored on blockchains.

There is a widespread misunderstanding that the transparent nature of blockchain transactions makes it simpler for criminals to conceal the flow of money. This is not the case. On the other hand, the opposite is really the case.

The French law enforcement agency was able to identify five individuals and bring them to justice for stealing nonfungible tokens (NFT) via a phishing scam. This was made possible by the use of on-chain analysis.


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Tornado Cash Used to Siphon $500k from Hacked DAO Maker – PeckShield

Blockchain Security Company PeckShield and Crypto Security Specialist, CertiK have announced that a hacker laundered $500,000 DAI stablecoins via Tornado Cash.


The leading crypto security firms disclosed via a Twitter post that the laundering is connected to an Ethereum wallet address suspected of a similar exploit in 2021. 


Meanwhile, DAO Maker, a crypto funding website, experienced a hack on its website in August 2012. The hack happened as a result of a bug on the platform smart contract. More than $7 million worth of stablecoins was carted away by the hacker. The siphoned funds were disbursed to addresses authorized by the hacker. 


A few months after the event happened, one of the addresses that were flagged by Etherscan as one of the exploiters of DAO Maker transferred $500,000 worth of DAI stablecoins through Tornado Cash. Hackers often funnel stolen assets through Tornado Cash because it allows them to obscure the transactional activity. 


OFAC Sanctions Tornado Cash  


Interestingly, as a result of the United States Treasury Department of Foreign Assets Control, (OFAC), the sanction of Tornado Cash made headlines recently. As a result of the sanctions, the application is not accessible to any US-based persons or organizations due to its potential for money laundering.


No real change has occurred, even though the government has pronounced sanctions on individuals that violate the sanction. The application has not ceased to experience usage by hackers of decentralized finance protocols, as seen on Thursday and in other recent happenings. 

On August 19, blockchain security firm PeckShield revealed that an address connected to a December 2021 Grim Finance scam had transferred about $3.3 million into Tornado Cash. Subsequently, on September 6, the MonoX Finance scammer utilized Tornado Cash to launder $2.1 million


Initially, Tornado was developed with the intention of protecting the privacy of Ethereum users, but it has now been compromised by hackers who laundered money through the platform illegally.

As per a study by the United States Treasury Department, since Tornado’s establishment in 2019, nefarious criminals, including North Korea’s Lazarus crime syndicate, have exploited it to transact more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency.

Image source: Shutterstock


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CertiK Raises $60m In New Funding in Two Weeks

CertiK, a web3 and blockchain security company based in New York, announced on Friday that it raised an additional $60 million just two weeks after it raised $88 million in a Series B3 funding round. The latest funding gives CertiK a valuation of $2 billion.

The new round is an extension of the Series B3 seed funding as there was demand from investors. Ronghui Gu, the CertiK co-founder, talked about the development and said: “Series B3 is oversubscribed. Considering the enthusiasm of investors, we managed to facilitate this extension.”

SoftBank Vision Fund and CertiK’s existing investor Tiger Global are the only two backers who participated in the extension round. The extension was SoftBank’s first investment in CertiK.

CertiK mentioned that it intends to use the latest funding to expand its team and product offerings. The company’s current headcount is about 200, and it has various open positions, including in its engineering and business development roles.

CertiK’s valuation has doubled in just three months because of an increase in cryptocurrency hacks that have led to increased demand for security infrastructure by blockchain firms and other financial institutions.

Just within this year, over $1 billion in cryptocurrency has been lost as a result of major DeFi hacks, including the Ronin Network and Wormhole. The attacks have happened even after projects have been audited by companies such as CertiK.

Gu defended the auditing review exercise by stating: “An audit by CertiK is not a ‘certificate’ or an ‘endorsement’ that a project is safe from hacks. It is just a report of vulnerability findings with recommendations.

The executive further elaborated: “CertiK or any other auditor provides audit scope around a particular contract, meaning the audit relates to a particular contract or version of code of a project. Projects can fork their code, update their code or decline to remediate issues in their code after an audit is complete. This results in a persistent or new risk, which in some cases results in a hack.”

Detecting And Preventing Crypto Attacks

CertiK raised $88 million in its Series B3 funding round early this month. The firm planned to use the funds to develop new products and “a one-stop security platform for the entire web3 world.”

The move by the firm comes as the demand for blockchain security has risen as the cryptocurrency industry faces extensive losses of funds due to exploits and fraud.

Founded in 2018 and based in New York, CertiK’s mission is to secure the web3 world. The firm is a major provider of blockchain security services. It leverages best-in-class AI technology to protect and monitor blockchain protocols and smart contracts.

To date, CertiK has protected more than $300 billion worth of crypto assets for 2,500 enterprise clients through its fraud investigation and auditing services, including other offerings. The company’s revenue increased 12x, and profits rose 3,000 times in 2021.



Image source: Shutterstock


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Goldman Sachs Joins Investors to Fund CertiK as it Tops $2B Valuation

New York-based blockchain security startup CertiK has finally confirmed to raise $88 million from investors, led by Tiger Global, Advent International, with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors such as Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners.


Dubbed its Series B3 round, the company said the funding was oversubscribed and it comes off as its fourth financing round to date bringing the total capital raised to $230 million. Following the latest raise, the startup’s valuation has now topped $2 billion.

Considering the security demands in the digital currency ecosystem, as many as 3,200 blockchains and enterprise clients utilize CertiK’s solutions to safeguard their platform. Thus far, the company has helped these clients secure as much as $300 billion, a role that investors have acknowledged over and again.

“CertiK is a mission-critical blockchain cybersecurity platform in a massive market and has already become a clear leader in the industry with a high-quality product that provides all-round security for blockchain, smart contracts, and Web3,” said Steve Ward, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “We look forward to partnering with CertiK’s best in class founding team, complete with a team of leading crypto security thought leaders as they continue to grow and Scale-Up.”

Despite the latest economic downturn experienced in the digital currency ecosystem, CertiK has continued to grow its revenue which surged 12x in 2021, and profits growing more than 3000x. As detailed by the firm, it will continue to develop all of its security solutions, including Skynet, LeaderBoard, and Know-Your-Customer (KYC)- a mandatory process of identifying and verifying the client’s identity when opening an account and periodically over time, in a bid to meet the expectations of its broad-based clients.

“Given increasing trends in rug-pulls, we now see KYC playing an important role in Web3 security,” said CertiK Founder and CEO, Ronghui Gu. “KYC, together with Smart contract auditing and 24/7 monitoring of threats, will further strengthen our offer around end-to-end Web3 security services.”

Other security outfits like ConsenSys have also pulled funds from investors in recent times, the latest of which is $450 million raised by the firm to push its valuation to $7 billion.

Image source: Shutterstock


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CertiK’s identification of Crypto Cars as ‘rug pull’ was a false alarm

In a period of market downturns, rumors of crypto bans and decentralized finance, or DeFi scams, blockchain enthusiasts can be sensitive to the smallest abnormalities within projects they follow and sometimes erroneously fear for the worse. The day prior, CertiK, a leading cybersecurity ranking platform in the blockchain space, issued a warning via Twitter regarding CryptoCars, alleging that it was a “rug pull.” However, the staff quickly deleted the post as it was a false alarm.

Via a series of Twitter screenshots obtained by Cointelegraph, CertiK first claimed that the website and Telegram for CrytoCars were down. However, users quickly pointed out that both the CryptoCars website and Telegram apps were still functional, resulting in CertiK rescinding the community alert.

According to the developers of CryptoCars, the project’s Telegram chat will be temporarily closed “until the end of the Lunar New Year from 27th Jan to 7th Feb.” The CryptoCars development team is based in Vietnam, which celebrates the Lunar New Year holiday.

Sources at CertiK issued the following statement to Cointelegraph regarding the incident:

“Incident reporting, although complex, is rapid in nature and is done in a manner to alert the community on up-to-date suspicious activity. In this situation, we noticed [their] Telegram went offline, funds dropping to zero, and the $CCARs website being unavailable. This created an alert of a possible rug pull.”

Despite the error, CertiK has done much to benefit the blockchain community. As recently as the day prior, it issued a verified community alert for Qubit Finance as the protocol suffered an $80 million hack.

CryptoCars launched in September 2021 as a nonfungible token, or NFT, car racing game. Structured under a play-to-earn model, CryptoCars requires players to purchase an NFT car minted on the Binance Smart Chain through a blind box created by its developers for 6,600 CCAR or from another user starting at 490 CCAR. According to its official site, the project claims to have 721,683 players, 582,666 NFT cars, and 248.8 million in-game transactions at the time of publication. It also has over 124,500 followers on Twitter.