Twitter Hack Used Bitcoin to Cash In: Here’s Why


Somebody hacked Twitter Wednesday – and so they used bitcoin to capitalize on it.

Bitcoin is another cash system primarily based on the worth of censorship resistance. In different phrases, Bitcoin was constructed from the bottom up to evade third-party interference (assume banks, governments and regulation enforcement), making it a pure device within the arms of a world-class hacker.

Learn extra: Why Use Bitcoin?

Bitcoin’s worth proposition could be damaged into a number of classes all primarily based on the expertise below the hood.

As soon as the hacker will get it, it’s theirs

Bitcoin is digital. A preferred meme for bitcoin is “magic web cash,” which, in a way, it’s. Bitcoin operates natively on-line – you may ship bitcoin out of your cellphone or laptop to anybody else, nearly wherever on the planet, in a number of clicks, with out anybody having the ability to cease you. And when you’ve despatched it, you may’t get it again.

Learn extra: Twitter Breach Reactions: Safety Professionals Supply an Early Evaluation

That function – or on this case, a hassle – is a first-rate motive Bitcoin exists. Bitcoin depends on what are referred to as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions so as to not be confiscatable by middlemen reminiscent of regulation enforcement. As soon as the cash are in another person’s pockets, depend them nearly as good as gone.

Bitcoin is pseudonymous

Like many Twitter handles, bitcoin is pseudonymous. We will’t hyperlink an tackle to a private id very simply. 

Stolen USD, alternatively, could be close to inconceivable to get into and out of a checking account with out being flagged. Historically, cash is moved from one account to one other by a 3rd social gathering. 

Legacy techniques have the upside of having the ability to reverse transactions and connect identities to them. That’s clearly a drawback to hackers. (Notably, reviews surfaced of the hacker operating the same marketing campaign on CashApp for USD). Bitcoin transactions, by comparability, are lots more durable to management.

Bitcoin is liquid

Bitcoin can be traded on-line in a variety of locations. Holding bitcoins in your pockets wouldn’t be value a lot with out folks to swap for bitcoins. Launched in 2009, bitcoin is probably the most established and most extremely traded digital asset. It’s additionally obtainable on fashionable monetary apps reminiscent of CashApp or PayPal.

Learn extra: Is Bitcoin Authorized?

“It’s frequent sense that the attackers would select Bitcoin. Bitcoin is probably the most censorship resistant and liquid asset in existence,” Blocksteam CSO Samson Mow stated in a personal message. 

All this to say that the Twitter hacker selected the correct cryptocurrency to get U.S. .

However bitcoin could be tracked and traced

Addresses could be tracked, nonetheless. And so they will also be blackballed by others. By nature, the Bitcoin blockchain is 100% clear. Which means the ins-and-outs of transactions from one social gathering to one other are viewable for all to see with a bit of know-how.

For instance, fashionable cryptocurrency alternate Coinbase wouldn’t permit customers of its service to switch funds to the Twitter hacker’s tackle. 

SPOILS: Over the course of the day, a Bitcoin tackle related to the Twitter hack obtained greater than 12 BTC, value about $110Okay.

Blockchain analytics agency Chainalysis says the 12 or so bitcoins (value about $110,000 on the time) the hacker netted are already on the transfer. However we will see the place they’re going. Some corporations are even in a position to match “meatspace” identities with blockchain ones primarily based on small particulars hackers overlook.

Having stated that, there are instruments obtainable to individuals who actually need to obfuscate their transactions, and whoever perpetrated this explicit heist appears to be ready to take measures to shield their loot.

On the finish of the day, it’s essential that individuals be cautious of guarantees of free cash on the web – whether or not that comes within the type of , kilos or bitcoin.


The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the very best journalistic requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an unbiased working subsidiary of Digital Forex Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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