Personal Data of Leading Crypto Exchange Founder Allegedly Sold for $1 on the Dark Web

The personal data of Star Xu, the founder of leading cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, has allegedly been for sale on the dark web for 0.00029 bitcoin, a sum worth about $1, as BTC is currently trading at little over $3,430.

According to Chinese news outlet Blockbeats, the personal data of the crypto exchange’s founder was found in an ad made by a vendor going by “darrenchen,” who claimed the data he was selling included information on OKCoin itself, on his family, and on his personal identification.

While it’s currently unclear whether anyone has paid the 0.00029 BTC to see Star Xu’s personal information, some have pointed out the sum is incredibly low for such information, which could mean the vendor is trying to make money scamming people on the dark web.

Darknet market vendor allegedly selling OKCoin's personal data

As crypto news outlet 8BTC pointed out, it isn’t uncommon to see people’s personal information for sale on the dark web. Back in August of last year, a hacker sold the information of over 130 million guests of the Huazhu Hotels Group, a leading Chinese hospitality chain, for 8 BTC ($56,000 at the time).

This type of data is sold on dark net markets in which vendors mostly list illicit goods and services, which include drugs, weapons, and other types of contraband. These are accessible using special software like the Tor browser.

Bitcoin’s Use On Darknet Markets Grew Last Year

The use of bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has been on the rise in darknet markets, according to data from blockchain research firm Chainalysis. This, despite the existence of more anonymity-centric alternatives like monero (XMR) and zcash (ZEC).

As covered, Chainalysis found that despite the crypto bear market, underground marketplaces saw bitcoin transaction volumes of around $600 million last year, down $100 million when compared to 2017. The decrease was notably associated with the closure of large markets like AlphaBay and Hansa.

Per the firm, however, when one darknet market is closed another one appears to take its place. Kim Grauer, a senior economist at Chainlysis, told Reuters in an interview:

For someone who wants to buy something on a dark marketplace, the fact that bitcoin price is fluctuating doesn’t really matter.

Notably after taking down Hansa Dutch authorities set up a page on the darknet informing marketplace users they have their attention.

Morgan Creek Digital's Anthony Pompliano Explains Why He Is So Bullish on Bitcoin

Siamak Masnavi

On Tuesday (February 25), Anthony Pompliano (aka "Pomp"), a co-founder of crypto-focused asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital Assets, gave an interview -- to CNN's Julia Chatterley -- during which he extolled the virtues of Bitcoin.

Pomp focused on two main aspects of Bitcoin:

1. Bitcoin's Proof-of-Work (PoW) Consensus Mechanism and Its Energy Costs

He told Chatterley that Bitcoin is "the most seure computing network" in the world, and "it is going to take electricity or power consumption in order to power that security."

However, he said we don't need to get too alarmed by this since Bitcoin miners are "financially incentivized" to "find the cheapest power sources" because "that's how they make money."

Then, he pointed out that the cheapest form of energy is renewable energy, and so that is what they will try to use to power their mining hardware. In fact, he said that based on the studies he has seen, 60 to 80 percent of the energy being used is renewable.

2. Bitcoin's Store of Value Use Case 

"I think that store of value is really important. You have to have store value before you can have medium of exchange. 

"The store of value comes down to two things. One is security -- it can't disappear, it can't be hacked, etc.; and Bitcoin being the most secure computing network in the world, it is very secure...

"When it comes to price, what you want to see is, over long periods of time, either you're preserving your wealth, so the price stays flat, or it continues to increase.

"The monetary policy of Bitcoin relies on one thing: supply and demand economics -- artificially capped supply, demand increases, price will go up in U.S. dollar terms. And so, again, if you zoom out, over last decade, it's the best performing asset, over the last 12 months, up 150%, in the last you know what six weeks or so, it's up 30% or so.

"It's continuing to do exactly what it's kind of built to do. Now, there's high volatility on an intraday basis... but again people who put their wealth... in Bitcoin have been rewarded very well with this store of wealth thesis. And so we tend to think that the non-correlation with traditional assets will continue to be a valuable kind of aspect of Bitcoin."

Other Bitcoin-Related Topics

Pomp also responded to legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett's most recent criticisms of Bitcoin by saying that although Buffett is "one of the best investors of all time," when it comes to technology, there are "better people to listen to." 

Finally, with regard to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), here is what he had to say:

"These central back digital currencies are all coming, and really what I think people need to understand is all of the central back digital currencies are simply taking the existing monetary policy and changing the technology form factor.

"What Bitcoin does is it actually is a different monetary policy. It's not a fiat inflationary type model, and so ultimately we're going to have as a competition of currencies, but it's not going to be a competition on technology...

"We're going to have a competition of monetary policy... We believe that the Bitcoin monetary policy is superior to central bank monetary policies, and ultimately Bitcoin will be the winner, and will be the next global reserve currency."