Investor Awarded $75 Million in Civil Lawsuit Against 21-Year-Old Who Stole His Crypto

Francisco Memoria

Michael Terpin, a U.S. entrepreneur and cryptocurrency investor who’s seen SIM swappers steal millions worth of cryptocurrency from him, has recently been awarded $75.8 million in a civil judgment against a man who was reportedly part of a scheme to defraud him.

According to Reuters, the California Superior Court last week ordered Nicholas Truglia, a 21-year-old New York resident, to pay the amount in compensatory and punitive damages, making this one of the largest judgements awarded to an individual in a cryptocurrency-related case.

Speaking to the news outlet, Terpin noted he filed the civil complaint back in January, after seeing three million tokens get stolen from his cryptocurrency wallet over a SIM swapping attack in early 2018.

At the time, the tokens were reportedly worth around $23.8 million. This, according to a complaint Terpin filed with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles back in August, in which he sued AT&T, his service provider, for “gross negligence” that caused him to lose the funds.

Truglia and other hackers reportedly fraudulently transferred Terpin’s phone number to a phone they controlled, to then reset the passwords of his online accounts and ultimately steal his cryptocurrency.

Truglia himself was arrested in November of last year, in connection with six other crimes that saw him be accused of stealing $1 million worth of cryptocurrency through SIM swapping techniques.

Bitcoin Hashrate Reaches All-Time High, As BTC Halving Event Approaches

Bitcoin’s (BTC) hashrate recently reached an all-time high according to data from Blockchain.com, a leading London-based block explorer service.

Bitcoin network’s hashrate, which represents the amount of computing resources being dedicated towards providing security for the cryptocurrency’s blockchain (among other uses), has been climbing steadily in the past few months.

Higher Hashrate Suggests Increased Interest in Mining Bitcoin

Available data from June 19, 2019 shows that Bitcoin’s hashrate currently stands at around 65.19 trillion hashes per second (TH/s). Notably, the BTC blockchain’s hashing power began to increase significantly as the pseudonymous cryptocurrency’s price crossed the $9,000 and then $10,000 mark.

In addition to improving the security of the Bitcoin blockchain, a higher hashrate indicates that the overall interest in mining BTC has surged - presumably due to the recovery made by the bitcoin price and also that of other major cryptoassets.

Hashrate May Be Used to “Hack Humans to Create Gold 2.0”

Commenting on the rising hashrate, Wall Street veteran and Bitcoin bull Max Keiser remarked via Twitter that an increase in hash power results in a considerable price increase for Bitcoin in most cases. Keiser believes that even some of bitcoin’s biggest supporters fail to understand the importance of hashrate.

The experienced financial analyst remarked:

[Hashrate can be thought of as] Satoshi’s ability to hack humans to create Gold 2.0.

Previous BTC Hashrate All-Time High of 60 TH/s Set in September 2018

Bitcoin’s recently recorded hashrate of over 65 TH/s is considerably greater than the previous all-time high of about 60 TH/s - which was achieved in September 2018. After reaching a new high last year, bitcoin’s hashrate had been declining steadily - as the cryptocurrency’s price also continued to plummet.

But after bitcoin’s value reached a low of around $3,150 in December 2018, the leading cryptocurrency’s price and also that of other major cryptoassets began to recover in 2019. Other key metrics used to assess the performance of the Bitcoin network have also shown marked improvement.

Less Than 16% of 21 Million Bitcoins Left to Be Mined

According to BitcoinBlockHalf data, there are only 3,220,350 bitcoins left to be mined as the Bitcoin protocol has algorithmically capped the maximum supply of BTC at 21 million. 

At present, there should be 17,779,650 bitcoins in circulation but analysts have estimated that nearly 4 million BTC has been lost due to account mismanagement - including users forgetting their private passwords to their crypto wallets.

Moreover, the Bitcoin halving is approaching (on track to take place on May 21, 2020), a critical event which reduces the number of bitcoins that can be digitally printed (from mining) by 50%. Several crypto researchers have noted that this is one of the most significant events in bitcoin’s relatively short history as the reduction in the BTC supply has had a notable impact on the crypto’s price.