In a detailed thread on the X social media platform, on-chain forensic analyst TruthLabs, known as @BoringSleuth and backed by former ETH advisor Steven Nerayoff, has leveled serious accusations against the Ethereum Foundation. According to TruthLabs, there is transactional evidence linking the foundation to the Gatecoin hack in 2016, an event preceding the infamous hack of The DAO.
The core of this revelation is a series of Ethereum wallet addresses and their interconnected transactions, painstakingly traced back to moments before the hack. The thread begins with a bold statement from TruthLabs: “Proof of the Ethereum Foundation’s involvement in the Gatecoin Hack in 2016, prior to the exploitation of The DAO,” setting the tone for a narrative that unravels a complex web of transactions, contracts, and potentially incriminating associations.
🚨🧵Proof of the Ethereum Foundations involvement in the Gatecoin Hack in 2016, prior to the DAO exploit 🚨
Below is a thread showing transactional evidence linking the Ethereum Team to the 185K Ether stolen from Gatecoin, now worth over $460M today. 👇
— TruthLabs (@BoringSleuth) January 17, 2024
The Gatecoin hack occurred between May 9 and May 12, 2016, a turbulent period in the crypto market, just before the onset of The DAO’s token sale and its subsequent hack. Gatecoin’s official statement at that time revealed losses of 185,000 Ethereum from their wallets, an astonishing amount valued today at over $460 million.
TruthLabs, in their investigative thread, scrutinizes the on-chain movements associated with this event, focusing on four Ethereum addresses believed to be directly involved in the hack. One address, in particular, 0x1342a0, becomes a focal point due to its activities before the hack.
This wallet received an initial transfer of 1.6 Ether from another wallet, 0x8266, on May 9, 2016. TruthLabs delves into the origins and transactions of 0x8266, noting its developmental activities, including the creation of 10 distinct contracts. The wallet’s interactions revealed a close connection with wallet 0x556b, another development-centric address involved in setting up nine contracts and creating tokens that resembled The DAO’s infrastructure.
0x556b, the last wallet that sent funds to the hackers’ 0x8266 wallet when they needed it, was originally funded by the Ethereum Foundation’s main wallet. In fact, they only received ETH from the foundation before the Gatecoin exploit.
The central accusation is based on the origin of funds for wallet 0x556b. TruthLabs reveals, “0x556b, the last wallet that sent gas funds to the hackers’ 0x8266 wallet when they needed it, was originally funded by the Ethereum Foundation’s own main wallet,” pointing out a direct financial path from the Ethereum Foundation to the Gatecoin hackers. This revelation is supported by a forensic map detailing the flow of funds and contract interactions leading from the foundation to the actors behind the Gatecoin hack.
TruthLabs Speculates That Ethereum Was Facing a Financial Crisis at That Time
The plot thickens as TruthLabs speculates on the potential motive behind Ethereum’s alleged involvement. Citing financial forecasts from September 2015, the analyst suggests that the Foundation was possibly facing a financial crisis, with predictions of running out of funds by June 2016, coinciding with the period of the Gatecoin and The DAO hacks.
Steven Nerayoff, in his supporting statement, emphasized the severity of these accusations and the urgent need for a response from the implicated parties. He states, “Vitalik Buterin & Joseph Lubin, the on-chain data by @BoringSleuth is either right or not. Silence can only be construed as an admission of guilt given the magnitude of these allegations.”
This sentiment is echoed by TruthLabs, who invites the crypto community to independently verify the findings and participate in unraveling the full extent of these claims. Neither Vitalik Buterin nor any other person from the ETH network has yet commented on the accusations. The silence from Buterin and Lubin certainly does not help to silence the critics. At the time of writing this article, according to CoinMarketCap, ETH fell by 1.25% in the last session, settling at $5,415.