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19 June


Why the Twitter hacker used Bitcoin instead of Monero

The Twitter hacker left a few messages in the blockchain, noting that it was riskier to use Bitcoin

Photo: Mediapost

/NOVOSTIVL/ Yesterday, Twitter was breached and the accounts of several high-profile individuals, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, tweeted a common Bitcoin scam—that asks you for Bitcoin promising to send some in return, which it doesn’t.

The hackers themselves did not make any public statements, but they left some messages hidden in the blockchain. They were in the form of personalized Bitcoin addresses.

Put together they read, “You take risk when use (sic) Bitcoin for your Twitter game. Bitcoin is traceable. Why not Monero?”

The last message is particularly interesting. Why not Monero? Bitcoin may be the most well-known cryptocurrency but it’s very public too. Anyone can see the movement of all Bitcoin and track where the money moves - making it hard for a criminal to escape with the proceeds as it were.

In contrast, Monero is a private cryptocurrency famed for masking wallet and transactional information. It would be much easier to stay hidden.

“Bitcoin is a billion times easier to buy than Monero. It has a name that is instantly recognisable, where most of the people that saw the Tweets would never have heard of Monero,” tweeted Riccardo Spagni, also known as FluffyPony, who was the lead maintainer of Monero.

“Bitcoin addresses are significantly shorter than Monero addresses, leading to more space in Tweets,” he added.

Either way, the hack was fairly successful. Victims sent 12 Bitcoin, worth $118,000 to the address, which has since been siphoned away. Although, considering the scale of the hack and the millions of people seeing the tweets, it could have been much worse.