A Brazilian YouTuber has found himself in a financial crisis after losing approximately $60,000 worth of cryptocurrencies and NFTs after inadvertently exposing his private keys during a live stream.
Ivan Bianco, who hosts the Fraternidade Crypto channel, which boasts just over 34,000 subscribers, suffered the incident in late August while attempting to create a new cryptocurrency wallet. In an unfortunate and costly mistake, he accidentally revealed a text document containing his private keys to the watching audience.
In a matter of minutes, opportunistic hackers swooped in. They executed a theft, making off with approximately 87,000 MATIC tokens valued at around $50,460 and 3.35 ETH, equivalent to $5,750 at the time of theft.
“I can’t believe that I showed the private download (file containing the private keys) and the person sent it quickly. I tried to close the live but there wasn’t time because I had to create a new wallet, and it took 3 to 5 minutes…he stole all the money,” Bianco said in a tearful livestream on August 30.
Bianco also revealed that he lost several valuable NFTs during the ordeal, further compounding his losses.
Distraught and seeking justice, Bianco promptly reported the theft to local enforcement. However, the situation took an unexpected turn when an anonymous individual contacted him on Discord, taking responsibility for the theft and expressing remorse for his actions.
In a surprising twist, this remorseful thief returned 86,600 MATIC worth around $50,000 tokens to Bianco after a tearful plea. The reasons behind this sudden change of heart remain unclear, as the YouTuber chose not to disclose the attacker’s identity, fueling scepticism among some of his subscribers. Despite the doubts, Bianco vehemently defended the incident’s authenticity, emphasizing that authorities actively pursue the remaining stolen assets.
In a video posted on August 31, Bianco reiterated his commitment to assisting law enforcement in tracking down the culprits responsible for the theft of his remaining assets.
“I have full faith in our law enforcement agencies, and I believe they will bring those responsible to justice. My hope is that my experience will serve as a warning to everyone in the crypto community about the importance of safeguarding their private keys and being vigilant against potential threats,” he said.
Private keys are secret cryptographic codes in cryptocurrency that grant users control over their digital assets. Paired with a public key, they secure ownership of crypto assets. Loss of the private key means losing access to one’s assets; that’s why users need to exercise caution and prioritize security measures to protect their digital assets from prying eyes.
This incident is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in the cryptocurrency space and the critical importance of appreciating the decade-old adage “not your keys, not your crypto.”