In an unexpected turn of events, one of the world’s foremost crypto- and blockchain-centric startups, Bitmain, has sued an anonymous hacker over a jaw-dropping $5.5 million in crypto assets in a case involving Binance.
Bitmain Blames “John Doe” In Multi-Million Crypto Hack Of Binance Account
Per a court document recently filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington in Seattle, a “yet-to-be-identified ‘John Doe'” has stolen millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) from Bitmain Technologies, a Beijing-based firm focused on crypto’s mining subindustry.
Obviously perturbed by this apparent theft, the mining startup has since served “John Doe” with a lawsuit, which was unsealed on November 7th.
So what happened to Bitmain?
Well, according to the document, Bitmain alleges that the hacker hijacked Bitmain’s company-owned Binance account to boost the price of MANA, the Ethereum-based token of the Decentraland project. Per data from Live Coin Watch, Bitmain’s claims likely hold substance, as the popular altcoin underwent a suspicious surge in the time frames that the crypto startup drew attention to (April 2018).
Following the manipulative action, Bitmain suspects that the anonymous felon stole $5.5 million worth of bitcoin along with “other digital assets,” with the document drawing attention to a definite sum of 617 BTC that was snatched.
The crypto company also claimed that “John Doe” managed to acquire 2.29 million MANA tokens on Bittrex prior to the hack, presumably indicating that this unfortunate security breach was planned well-in-advance. He/she/they then reportedly used transferred 2.29 million tokens to “John’s” Binance account, subsequently inflating the price of MANA on Bitmain’s dime before liquidating their own MANA holdings.
The lawsuit was presumably filed in Washington State due to the fact that Bittrex has its headquarters in Seattle. The specificity of this filing may give Bitmain an edge in court, and, more importantly, may help to bring “John Doe,” who remains unnamed at the time of writing, to justice.
Commenting on this odd occurrence via The Block’s “Crypto Caselaw Minute” segment, Stephen Palley and Nelson Rosario, two crypto-friendly lawyers, noted that “stealing crypto from a centralized exchange leaves a lot of fingerprints.” And as such, the lawyers added that Bitmain could now be entitled to serving Binance with subpoenas.
This, in and of itself, is ironic, as Bitmain’s search for the attacker’s true identity may further centralize an industry based on decentralized networks.
Regardless, the China-based crypto mining firm will likely still go to the ends of the Earth to resolve this case, as Bitmain wouldn’t be caught dead showing weakness as its prospective IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange awaits approval.