On Thursday, ZachXBT, a cyber sleuth in the field of decentralized finance, or DeFi, accused prominent Taiwanese musician and blockchain personality Jeff Huang, also known as Machi Big Brother, of misconduct in 10 different cryptocurrency projects. Machi Big Brother is known outside of Taiwan as an avid collector of Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and owned a collection worth an estimated $8.26 million at the peak of the cryptocurrency bull market last year.
This is misinformation. If he wasn’t anonymous, I’d sue him for defamation.
— Machi Big Brother (@machibigbrother) June 16, 2022
Although numerous, the main spearhead of the accusations was directed towards Huang’s alleged involvement in the whereabouts of 22,000 Ether (ETH) raised during the initial coin offering of tokens from Formosa Financial (FMF), an asset management platform. Taiwanese treasury created for blockchain companies, in 2018.
After the ICO, the price of FMF tokens plummeted rapidly, in part due to the severe cryptocurrency bear market at the time. Jeff Huang had served as a consultant to the company before eventually resigning from his position. In 2019, Taiwanese news outlet Block Tempo reported that Formosa Financial merged with Philippines-based cryptocurrency exchange CEZEX and ICO crowdfund syndicate Katalyse.io.
As reported by ZachXBT, on June 22, 2018, just three weeks after the FMF ICO, two withdrawals of 11,000 ETH were made from Formosa Financial’s treasury wallet. At the same time, several Formosa Financial executives allegedly authorized the company’s share buyback.
There is significant uncertainty regarding the outflows of said 22,000 ETH. ZachXBT alleged that the funds went first to George Hsieh, former CEO of Formosa Financial, and Jeff Huang, and then to wallet addresses allegedly linked to their associates. However, the DeFi sleuth did not back up his claims with evidence of how they came to associate those addresses with Jeff and George.
On-chain data can only confirm that two withdrawals of 11,000 ETH were made from what appears to be Formosa Financial’s treasury on June 22, 2018. To establish a connection between a blockchain transaction and a real-world recipient, either Customer (KYC) or doxing information would be required. For example, such a link can be established by comparing the address of the recipient with that of a verified Twitter user profile (where confirmation of identification is generally required) showing that address. However, such evidence was not present in the ZachXBT analysis.
Huang, whose public wallet went online only about two years ago, has denounced ZachXBT’s allegations as misinformation. Cointelegraph was unable to independently verify Huang’s alleged role in other projects, as the DeFI detective report failed to present the necessary KYC information linking wallet addresses to Huang. However, Huang made the following comments about Mithril and Cream Finance, both of which are projects mentioned in the ZachXBT report, in an interview with local media outlet Heaven Raven earlier this year. The excerpt was translated by Cointelegraph:
“In 2018, I started with [decentralized social media platform] mithril We even implement community mining, encouraging users to upload photos or videos of their mining equipment. But it was too ahead of its time and, furthermore, we were unaware of many details. As a result, the price of the token collapsed. It was a shame, but we gained a lot of experience and then we moved to Cream Finance.”
Cream Finance is a major DeFi lending platform that suffered a series of flash lending exploits in the past year. Have promised to reimburse users with protocol fees until the lost capital is recovered. Regarding his involvement in the project, Huang said:
“At the time, we lost almost $140 million during the exploit. But then, we tried to reimburse customers. And now Cream is consistently profitable. In November 2020, I passed control of Cream Finance to Andre Cronje. After that, due to the coronavrius pandemic, I mostly stayed at home and started to focus on non-fungible tokens.”
Jeff Huang adamantly denied the accusations against him in a Twitter post on Thursday saying, “This is misinformation. If he wasn’t anonymous, I would sue him for defamation.”
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