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Recent FBI Inquiry Targets Bitcoin Developers in Theft Investigation

Recent FBI Inquiry Targets Bitcoin Developers in Theft Investigation

Apr 12, 2024

Recent FBI Inquiry Targets Bitcoin Developers in Theft Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a subpoena to gather information about developers who attended the CoreDev Atlanta event in October 2022. This action is a part of an ongoing investigation concerning the theft of more than 200 Bitcoin (BTC) from prominent developer Luke Dashjr.

Mike Schmidt, co-founder and Director at Brink, which is a non-profit supporting open-source Bitcoin development, informed attendees of the subpoena via email. The CoreDev Atlanta 2022 event, which the subpoena focuses on, was an invitation-only gathering for Bitcoin core developers that took place before the TABConf 2022.

Schmidt stated in the email, "As part of the investigation into Luke Dashjr's announced theft of his bitcoins, I received a subpoena from the FBI wanting information about attendees of the October 2022 CoreDev Atlanta event in the days before TABConf 2022. I was legally advised to cooperate."

The information requested by the FBI includes the attendees' GitHub usernames, their publicly known first and last names, and email addresses. Schmidt clarified that the names were sourced from public domains such as GitHub or mailing lists. Additionally, the FBI had placed a gag order on the disclosure of this subpoena, which lasted for one year and has recently expired.

Schmidt, in his communication to the developers affected, expressed his lack of knowledge regarding specific details of the investigation, including whether it was a targeted probe or a broader information-gathering effort. He apologized for the breach of privacy and invited any questions from the community.

Luke Dashjr, the victim of the hack, reported in January 2023 that he lost over 216 BTC due to the security breach. The subpoena by the FBI seems to be a direct response to this incident as they investigate the circumstances surrounding the theft.

As of now, Schmidt has not had further contact with the FBI and declined to comment on any additional details about the investigation. The event raises questions about privacy and the extent of legal obligations within the developer community while highlighting the increasing scrutiny of Bitcoin security and theft.

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