Anonymous Bitcoin Thief Faces Lawsuit by Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain in Seattle
An anonymous thief who goes by the name ‘John Doe’ has crypto exchange giant Bitmain worked up.
Earlier this year, a hacker got brief command of Bitmain’s account on another crypto exchange Binance. Moreover, the hacker got witty. He used other accounts – one at Binance and one at Bittrex – to eventually clutch of their pot. They used the profiles to guide price and finally ran away with about $5.5m in cryptos from Bitmain’s account. They influenced the price of MANA coins to make these profits.
The company claims:
“Upon information and belief, Binance’s automated system matched the deflated MANA sell order with the deflated MANA purchase order and executed the trade and John Doe obtained significant gains—at the expense of Bitmain. As a result, John Doe benefitted twice from transferring MANA into and out of Bitmain’s digital wallet.”
Now, in retaliation, Bitmain has decided to take action. They filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington which got the event to public’s attention. As the hacker remains unnamed, it’s a ‘John Doe’ case.
The lawsuit asserts that the tokens thief used in the event was formerly deposited in a Bittrex wallet, and Bittrex is based out of Washington. Thus the suit is filed in Seattle, Washington. Additionally, the suit claims that “after John Doe had completed his/her theft of BTC from Bitmain, he/she transferred that BTC out of the John Doe’s Binance wallet and ultimately into a digital wallet on the Bittrex cryptocurrency trading platform.”
They are consequently declaring that the Washington court has authority over the matter based on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Washington Cybercrime Act, and other computer scam laws.
The intention of suing an anonymous individual may seem outlandish, but there is a purpose behind it. A ‘John Doe’ lawsuit like this allows the plaintiff subpoena powers to attempt to find the identity of the person they hope to recover the funds from. Essentially, Binance and Bittrex are likely to be accepting messages from Bitmain’s lawyers enforcing them to hand over details of whoever is behind the scam.