Mar 23, 2021
Richard Sanders is a co-founder and lead investigator at CipherBlade, an elite blockchain investigation agency that works closely with top crypto exchanges, blockchain protocols, and the FBI. In this episode, Rich explains his views on the sometimes shady world of crypto ATM operators, the confusing new BitClout platform, and we cover best practice crypto security tips.
CipherBlade uses a potent mix of on-chain and off-chain analytics and investigative techniques to track the most sophisticated cybercriminals on the planet. Using these techniques he has been tracking the transactions from crypto ATMs. Rich says many of these transactions are being sent to wallets linked to scammers.
Rich says just because VCs are involved with a project, it doesn’t mean retail investors won’t get burned. In fact, the ones with public team members are the soft exits that often end up mismanaged/shady. People think of this binary, like "it's a scam or not", where "scam" is defined as rug pull, it's a lot more nuanced.
The range of scammers and bad actors in the blockchain ecosystem runs the full gamut from the lowest to the highest basket of sophistication. The least sophisticated are Twitter and Telegram impersonation scammers, often based out of Nigeria. Many of these scammers don’t use VPNs, they don't always use mixers and sometimes they use direct deposit addresses for exchanges. At the other end of the scale, you have very sophisticated hacking groups out of North Korea that use sophisticated mixing and crypto hopping techniques. What scammers have in common is they play on human greed, stupidity, and laziness.