Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is facing escalating scrutiny over alleged links between himself, the Ethereum Foundation and the colossal $450 million Gatecoin hack of 2016. The controversy, first ignited by on-chain investigations by TruthLabs (@BoringSleuth) and amplified by Ethereum whistleblower Steven Nerayoff, has now drawn in Mark Camilleri, a award-winning Maltese journalist and historian, escalating the demand for clarity from Buterin.
Pressure On Ethereum, Buterin Mounts Over Gatecoin Hack Link
The allegations surfaced when @BoringSleuth made on-chain connections indicating potential involvement of the Ethereum Foundation in the Gatecoin hack. Mark Camilleri, notable for his anti-censorship advocacy and tenure as chairman of Malta’s National Book Council, has taken a proactive stance in seeking clarity from Buterin.
Camilleri, through a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) and other direct communication channels (email and WhatsApp), has pressed Buterin for answers regarding a specific transaction linked to the hack (on Etherscan). He posed a direct question to Buterin:
Good morning Vitalik Buterin, @BoringSleuth is making a very serious accusation about the Ethereum Foundation’s connection to the Gatecoin hack, mainly through this transaction. I think this is a serious accusation, which you should be able to deny or explain the connection between the Ethereum Foundation and this address.
Despite these efforts, Buterin, who turned 30 yesterday and is reported to be residing in Montenegro, a nation with no extradition treaty with the United States, has remained silent. This silence is becoming increasingly conspicuous given the gravity of the allegations.
In a follow-up post, Camilleri expressed his interpretation of Buterin’s silence, stating, “Since you don’t want to answer my questions, I assume that your lack of reply is equivalent to ‘No comment’. Not a good sign when there is blockchain evidence of the Ethereum Foundation being potentially linked to the €450 million worth Gatecoin hack.”
He added, “You’ve also read the message I sent you on WhatsApp, so not replying is a choice you have made. Maybe, you should revise your priorities.”
In a blog post, Camilleri elaborated on the seriousness of the allegations, stating, “The problem with this story is that it is not just an allegation since the blockchain history is very clear. Refusing to reply is a reply in itself, and unfortunately given the concrete evidence behind this story, a refusal to reply seems to be very suspicious.”
Nerayoff And TruthLabs React
Steven Nerayoff, currently preparing a fraud case against Buterin and the Ethereum Foundation, highlighted the significance of Camilleri’s inquiries. “Will Vitalik Answer Reporter on Gatecoin Hack? A very credible reporter, Mark Camilleri, asked Vitalik about @BoringSleuth’s very serious allegations here on X. Vitalik claims full transparency. If he’s innocent, he should reply unless perhaps legal is telling him to stay silent,” Nerayoff commented.
TruthLabs, the entity behind the initial allegations, has been vocal about the evidence at hand. In a public statement, they said, “Proof that Vitalik Read, and is aware of the Gatecoin Hack Allegations and Evidence. The evidence is very clear. Either @VitalikButerin @Ethereum Foundation @Joe Lubin stole the $450M in ETH or they knew who did, as they funded their wallet. They knew this back when the Exploit happened. They did nothing, which leads a person with any reason at all to think they were involved.”
This controversy strikes at the heart of the crypto ethos, which champions transparency and accountability. Buterin’s silence, thus far, stands in stark contrast to these principles. The lack of response from a figure as pivotal as Buterin not only raises questions about the specific incident but also casts a shadow over the trustworthiness of the Ethereum Foundation.
At press time, ETH traded at $2,274.
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