Another suspect in Ethereum DAO hack emerges, putting coin mixing in question

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A prominent crypto journalist published a remarkable I accuse article claiming to unmask the identity of the 2016 hack on The DAO, which saw a raider flee with 3.6 million ETH, currently worth over $9.4 billion. However, perhaps more importantly, it challenged popular coin mixing technology.

Writing for Forbes, Laura Shin explained that her research, in conjunction with that of the blockchain analytics firm On-chain analysishad traced the hack to Austrian programmer Toby Hoenisch, the co-founder of the former TenX payment platform, one of the top 10 ICOs of 2017, which has been transformed into Capital Mimo. contacted Hoenisch with a request for comment.

“After receiving a document detailing the evidence pointing to him as the hacker, Hoenisch wrote in an email: ‘Your statement and conclusion are factually inaccurate.’ In that email, Hoenisch offered to provide refuting details. our findings, but never responded to my repeated follow-up messages asking him for these details,” Shin wrote.

In his post, Shin explained how data from Chainalysis traced a “suspected attacker” who “sent 50 bitcoins (BTC) to a Wasabi wallet address.” The wallet uses “mixing” technology which aims to anonymize transactions by mixing many blockchain movements at once into a CoinJoin.

She claimed that “using a capability” that was “disclosed here for the first time”, Chainalysis had “unmixed Wasabi transactions and tracked their output across four exchanges”.

For some notable observers, the fact that Chainalysis appears to have developed the ability to unmix Wasabi transactions was a major revelation with potentially significant consequences for the entire industry.

Shin went on to explain that “an employee of one of the exchanges confirmed to one of my sources that the funds were exchanged for” a privacy coin named grin (GRIN) – then withdrawn to a blockchain node Grin called

Further, she added:

“The IP address of this node also hosted Bitcoin Lightning nodes:,, etc., and was consistent for over a year; it was not a VPN.

Node hosting was assigned to Amazon Singapore, while “Lightning explorer 1ML showed a node at this IP address called TenX”.

Shin also claimed that the email address used on the same exchange account ends with “”.

She added that “in May 2016, as he wrapped up his landmark fundraiser, Hoenisch was intensely interested in the DAO” – and even “trolled” Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin “by retweeting something that Buterin had said before the DAO was attacked “the morning after the hack.

Discussing the alleged attacker and his possible motives for the raid, Shin claimed that insiders believe Hoenisch could have “instead remedied the situation” by exposing the flaws in the network and later flipping the ETH. .

She noted that in a 2016 blog post, Hoenisch wrote, “I’m a white hat hacker by heart. That, she writes, was just 20 days before the DAO attack.

Chainalysis also toasted the report — and nods to its new investigative methods — in a Twitter post.

There was further research from members of the crypto community on Twitter – including a confirmation of the DeFi Cake boss Julian Hosp, another co-founder of TenX, who “confirmed” that Hoenisch had sent him a “tip […] shorting ETH once the DAO crowdfunding is complete.

But some have warned of the dangers of pointing fingers – and claimed legal action may well follow.


Learn more:
– Crypto Security in 2022: Prepare for More DeFi Hacks, Exchange Outages, and Noob Errors
– Mt. Gox payouts are approaching, but is the market ready for it?

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