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ZachXBT recovers majority of $177K stolen NFT proceeds after 9-month probe

Validated Media

Pseudonymous on-chain researcher ZachXBT has recovered most of the funds from the sale of a rare DeGods non-fungible token (NFT), which was stolen in May 2023, after the original NFT holder fell victim to a phishing scam.

In a February 24 post on X, ZachXBT informed his 505,200 followers of the results of his nine-month investigation into the theft of the DeGods #3251 NFT, revealing that most of the funds have now been returned to the victim.

The NFT was sold in May 2023 for 99 Ethereum , which was worth approximately $177,000 at the time.“I am pleased to share that I was able to help recover a decent chunk of the stolen funds which have now been returned back to the victim.”

ZachXBT received a message from the victim in May 2023, shortly after the victim realized his wallet had been drained, asking for ZachXBT's help in recovering his digital art.

ZachXBT's investigations can vary in duration depending on the complexity involved. He often uses straightforward diagrams to show his followers how the phishing scams occurred and track the movement of funds, even through crypto mixers.

“While recovery can be a lengthy process it does happen and I am always happy to share these success stories,” he stated.

ZachXBT also disclosed his plan to conclude his pro bono blockchain investigation work shortly. 

He revealed this after receiving replies from X users showing frustration because he did not assist them in recovering their stolen crypto as well, despite him reiterating that he provides this service free of charge.

“This is exactly why I am stopping all public goods work soon,” he stated.

ZachXBT has played a prominent role across various areas of the crypto industry, assisting in deciphering crypto crimes for individuals and even national authorities.

In October 2022, Cointelegraph reported that the French authorities were even utilizing ZachXBT's research to catch fraudsters behind the $2.5 million theft of NFTs.

Christophe Durand, the deputy chief of France’s national cyber unit, told the AFP that it became aware of the incident after observing an investigation from ZachXBT on social media.

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