ZachXBT Recovers Most of the $177K Earnings from Stolen NFT

ZachXBT Recovers Most of the $177K Earnings from Stolen NFT

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Key Insights:

  • ZachXBT’s meticulous blockchain investigations lead to the recovery of stolen NFT proceeds.
  • Despite challenges, ZachXBT’s impact extends to assisting national authorities in tackling crypto crimes.
  • ZachXBT’s decision to conclude pro bono work reflects challenges in managing community expectations regarding stolen crypto recovery.

Following a “lengthy process,” blockchain investigator ZachXBT disclosed that he had recovered most of the money from a stolen DeGods NFT sold in May 2023.

Most of the proceeds from selling a rare DeGods nonfungible token (NFT), taken in May 2023 after its original possessor fell for a phishing scam, have been recovered by pseudonymous on-chain researcher ZachXBT.

ZachXBT’s Stand in Blockchain Investigation

ZachXBT, a blockchain investigator going by the moniker ZachXBT, is one of the front-runners fighting back against these cyberattacks, and his skill and determination have made him well-known in the cryptocurrency world. ZachXBT, who has amassed a following of more than 505,200 people, is committed to exposing and reducing the harm that cryptocurrency thieves create. 

As part of his employment, he tracks stolen digital assets via the convoluted network’s routes using sophisticated blockchain forensics. This procedure is complex, given the intricacy and anonymity of contemporary phishing tactics. 

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Still, ZachXBT’s meticulous methodology and use of modern analytical techniques have produced significant advancements in blockchain research.

ZachXBT updated his over  500k followers on his nine-month investigation into the DeGods #3251 NFT theft in an X post on February 24. He revealed that the victim had already received the majority of the cashback.

The Recovery Process

Soon after realizing his wallet had been stolen, the victim sent ZachXBT a message in May 2023 requesting ZachXBT’s assistance in getting his digital artwork back.

The length of ZachXBT’s research varies based on the level of difficulty. He frequently creates simple graphics to demonstrate to his followers how phishing schemes work and monitor the flow of money—even through cryptocurrency mixers.

With his thorough understanding of blockchain transactions and phishing mechanisms and the strategic use of analytical tools, he could track down the stolen assets, even as they passed through crypto mixers, ultimately recovering most of the victim’s earnings. This example illustrates the difficulties in tracking digital assets and the possibility of a successful recovery. 

Zack stated that recovery can be a lengthy process, but it does happen, and he is always happy to share these success stories.

ZachXBT also revealed his intention soon to wrap off his pro bono blockchain research project.

He disclosed this in response to responses from X users expressing dissatisfaction over his failure to help them retrieve their stolen cryptocurrency, even though he had repeatedly said that he offers this service without charging for it.

Additionally, he stated that this is precisely why he is stopping all public goods work soon.

Zack’s Impact

ZachXBT has been a significant player in various areas of the crypto industry, assisting both private and federal law enforcement agencies in understanding.

In October 2022, it was reported that the French authorities were even using ZachXBT’s research to catch fraudsters behind the $2.5 million theft of NFTs. France’s OCLCTIC cybercrime police detained five NFT scammers after they were reportedly able to steal $2.5 million worth of NFTs through phishing with the assistance of on-chain investigator ZachXBT, according to a news release issued by BFM Crypto in collaboration with Paris à l’AFP on October 12.

Additionally, the deputy chief of France’s national cyber unit, Christophe Durand, told the AFP that it became aware of the incident after observing an investigation from ZachXBT on social media.

Challenges on Zack’s Journey

Despite the successes, ZachXBT’s journey has been challenging. The investigator recently announced his intention to conclude pro bono work, frustrated by some community members’ unrealistic expectations regarding recovering stolen crypto. 

This decision underscores the complexities of offering specialized assistance in an often unappreciative environment. Beyond individual cases, ZachXBT’s contributions have extended to assisting national authorities, including France’s national cyber unit, in deciphering crypto-related crimes. 

His work has been pivotal in enhancing the understanding and enforcement of laws against crypto crime, impacting the security of digital assets and the broader crypto community.

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Phillip Scarbrough
About Author

Phillip Scarbrough

Phillip Scarbrough, a prominent figure in crypto analysis, brilliantly navigates the labyrinth of blockchain technology. With a knack for distilling complex subjects into comprehensible prose, Phillip's articles enlighten a vast audience about the crypto universe. As digital currencies evolve, his seasoned insights remain invaluable to readers worldwide.

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