- TruthLabs and Steven Nerayoff accuse Ethereum Foundation of being connected to the 2016 Gateway hack.
In a detailed thread on social media platform X, on-chain forensic analyst TruthLabs, known as @BoringSleuth, and supported by former Ethereum advisor Steven Nerayoff, has levied substantial allegations against the Ethereum Foundation.
🚨🧵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
According to TruthLabs, there is transactional evidence linking the Ethereum Foundation to the substantial Gatecoin hack of 2016, an event preceding the infamous DAO hack.
At the heart of this exposé is a series of Ethereum wallet addresses and their interlinked transactions, painstakingly traced back to the moments preceding the hack.
The thread opens with a bold statement from TruthLabs, “Proof of the Ethereum Foundation’s involvement in the Gatecoin Hack in 2016, prior to the DAO exploit,” setting the tone for a narrative that unfolds a complex web of transactions, contracts, and potentially incriminating associations.
The Gatecoin Hack And The Trail Of Transactions
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 the subsequent DAO Hack.
Gatecoin’s official statement at the time disclosed losses of 185,000 Ethereum from their wallets, a staggering 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, emerged as a focal point due to its activities prior to the hack.
This wallet received an initial transfer of 1.6 Ether from another wallet, 0x8266, on May 9th, 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 nexus with wallet 0x556b, another development-centric address involved in setting up nine contracts and creating tokens that resembled The DAO’s infrastructure.
“0x556b even created a couple tokens in December of 2015 called DAO kobi, and DAO Dollar. TheDAO’s token contract wasn’t set up until June 2016. Clearly 0x556b is a Dev, who was working on developing contracts similar to the DAO contracts later launched,” the researcher claims.
0x556b, the last wallet that sent Gas money to the Hackers 0x8266 wallet when they needed it, was originally funded by the Ethereum Foundation’s own Main wallet.
In fact, they only ever received ETH from the Ethereum Foundation prior to the Gatecoin exploit.
The Ethereum Foundation Connection
The crux of the allegation hinges on the origin of funds for wallet 0x556b.
TruthLabs reveals, “0x556b, the last wallet that sent Gas money 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 pathway from the Ethereum Foundation to the Gatecoin hackers.
This revelation is supported by the below forensic map, detailing the flow of funds and contract interactions leading from the Ethereum Foundation to the actors behind the Gatecoin hack.
The plot thickens as TruthLabs speculates on the potential motive behind the Ethereum Foundation’s alleged involvement.
Citing financial forecasts from September 2015, the on-chain sleuth suggests that the Foundation was possibly facing a dire financial crisis, with predictions of running out of funds by June 2016, coinciding with the period of the Gatecoin and DAO hack.
“One reason the Ethereum Foundation may have gone on a hacking spree at the time, is because they were on the verge of Collapse. They themselves forecasted to run out of funds during the exact same period of the Gatecoin and TheDAO exploits,” the researcher asserts.
Calls For Accountability And Further Investigation
Steven Nerayoff, in his supporting statement, underscored the severity of these allegations and the pressing 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 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 partake in unraveling the full extent of these claims.
Neither Vitalik Buterin nor any other person from the Ethereum Foundation camp have yet commented on the allegations. The silence from Buterin and Lubin is certainly not helping to silence the critics.
At press time, ETH traded at $2,521.