Luke Dashjr, a Bitcoin pioneer and core developer, claims his PGP key was compromised, resulting in the theft of nearly all of his Bitcoin on December 31.
Luke Dashjr, one of the original core developers of Bitcoin, claims to have lost “basically” all of his BTC as a result of a hack that occurred just before the new year.
In a tweet on January 1, the developer claimed that the alleged hackers had gained access to his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) key, a common security method that uses two keys to access encrypted data.
He shared a wallet address where some of the stolen BTC was sent in the thread, but he did not reveal how much of his BTC was stolen in total.
At the time of writing, the wallet address in question shows four transactions totaling 216.93 BTC between 2:08 and 2:16 pm UTC on December 31, worth $3.6 million at current prices.
Dashjr stated that he had “no idea how” the attackers obtained access to his key, though some in the community have suggested a link with an earlier Twitter post from Dashjr on Nov. 17 in which he stated that his server had been compromised by “new malware/backdoors on the system.”
Dashjr told a user in his most recent Twitter thread that he only became aware of the recent hack after receiving emails from Coinbase and Kraken about attempted logins.
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao expressed condolences and support for the incident in a post on January 1.
“I’m sorry to see you suffer so greatly. Our security team was notified to keep an eye on things. We will freeze it if it comes our way. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. We deal with these on a regular basis and have Law Enforcement (LE) relationships all over the world “He wrote something.
Some in the crypto community believe that lax security is to blame for the loss.
In a Reddit thread on January 1, a user going by SatStandard suggested that Dashjr may not have taken the Nov. 17 security breach “seriously enough,” and that the Bitcoin developer “did not keep different activities separated.”
“He kept his hot wallet on the same computer where he kept everything else. He appears to have been very relaxed.”
Meanwhile, a few others appear to suggest that it was not a hack at all, implying that the seed phrase was discovered accidentally or as part of an unfortunate “boating accident” ahead of tax season.
In this context, a boating accident refers to a running joke and meme originated by gun enthusiasts but repurposed by the crypto community about people attempting to avoid paying taxes by claiming they lost all their BTC in a “Tragic boating accident.”
Cointelegraph reached out to Dashjr on Twitter for more information about the alleged hack but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.
Related: $2.1 billion was stolen in the ten largest cryptocurrency hacks and exploits in 2022.
The news has also sparked a debate about self-custody, which became popular following the collapse of FTX last year.
Binance CEO “CZ,” who has previously warned the cryptocurrency community about self-custody, stated: “It’s unfortunate that even an OG #Bitcoin Core Developer lost 200+ BTC ($3.5 million). The risks of self-custody are distinct.”
Udi Wertheimer, an online social media BTC influencer, also questioned whether self-custody was a viable and safe option, commenting that one “shouldn’t manage your own keys.”
“If even one of Bitcoin’s original developers messes this up, I’m not sure how other people are supposed to do it safely.”
“This is not to say that self-custody is a bad thing. “However, you should not manage keys directly,” he advised.