The Mt. Gox hacker ranks among the world’s wealthiest individuals

Mount Gox, once renowned as the world's leading Bitcoin (BTC) exchange, faced a catastrophic collapse in 2014, triggered by a massive hack that resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins.

Over three years, the Mt. Gox hacker discreetly siphoned off approximately 650,000 BTC from the crypto exchange. Subsequently, a considerable portion of these pilfered Bitcoins underwent alleged laundering on BTC-e, a platform established in July 2011 by Alexander Vinnik and Aleksandr Bilyuchenko, both of whom were convicted for their involvement in the hack.

Remarkably, forensic analyses currently estimate that the Mt. Gox hacker retains possession of 79,957 BTC, valued at $3.18 billion. 

This financial standing places the malefactor among the 1,000 wealthiest individuals globally, according to Forbes Billionaires, showcasing a net worth comparable to notable public figures such as basketball legend Michael Jordan.

The Mt. Gox hack

In June 2011, cyber attackers targeted Mt. Gox, the preeminent Bitcoin exchange founded by Jed McCaleb. Interestingly, McCaleb went on to co-found Ripple and later, Stellar (XLM).

Delving into the details of the hack, the malicious actor exploited a vulnerability within the exchange's security system. Operating through a fraudulent account, the hacker manipulated account balances, utilizing stolen credentials belonging to Auden McKernan, a Mt. Gox auditor.

Essentially, a facet of the hack involved the creation of a fake account showcasing Bitcoin for sale, causing a precipitous drop in the Bitcoin price on the exchange. Consequently, Bitcoin changed hands at artificially deflated prices, plummeting down to one cent per bitcoin.

Taking advantage of these artificially low prices, the hacker acquired Bitcoin and subsequently laundered them through BTC-e. In the aftermath, security experts criticized Mt. Gox for its weak security protocols. Despite the controversy, the exchange pledged to enhance its systems and compensate affected users.

In conclusion, the repercussions of this incident continue to cast a shadow over Bitcoin investors and the broader cryptocurrency market. Investors remain apprehensive about a potential sell-off by the Mt. Gox hacker and the ensuing compensation to victims and creditors.

Meet Rahul Nambiampurath from Kerala, India, a skilled freelance writer specializing in cryptocurrency. Rahul, who studied finance at Sikkim Manipal University, is an expert in areas such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, NFTs, and Web3, the new era of the internet. Rahul started exploring cryptocurrencies in 2014 and gained over fi ..