Crypto mining company Core Scientific has reached a $45 million settlement with former crypto lender Celsius in relation to a mining data center dispute. Meanwhile, the Bitcoin miner who received 19.8 Bitcoin (BTC) in accidental fees from Paxos has returned the funds, and research shows that North Korea-linked hackers have stolen a total of $340.4 million in cryptocurrencies so far in 2023.
Celsius and Core Scientific agree on $45 million settlement
Crypto miner Core Scientific has reached an agreement with Celsius Network to settle an ongoing legal dispute — pending court approval.
On Sept. 15, Core Scientific announced that it had agreed to sell a Bitcoin mining data center to Celsius for $14 million cash, thereby resolving “all existing litigation.” The value of the data center was roughly $45 million.
The two firms have been embroiled in a legal battle since October 2022, when Core Scientific alleged that Celsius failed to pay its bills. Meanwhile, Celsius claims that Core Scientific wasn’t fulfilling its contract to deploy mining rigs.
Oddly enough, both companies filed for bankruptcy last year during the depths of the crypto bear market. In the case of Celsius, multiple executives were on the receiving end of criminal charges. Former CEO Alex Mashinsky was arrested in July and has pleaded not guilty to fraud and market manipulation charges.
Miner returns over $500,000 in BTC transaction fee overpayment to Paxos
The Bitcoin miner who received the 19.8 BTC in fees has returned the funds to blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos after its claims that the company made the mistake of paying over $500,000 in BTC transfer fees.
F2Pool have sent the 19.82108632 BTC fee overpayment back to Paxos https://t.co/IB32RNq5uO
— mempool (@mempool) September 15, 2023
On Sept. 10, the crypto community was puzzled after seeing a BTC transaction that paid around $500,000 in fees to move around $2,000, while the average network fee was around $2. Various speculations were raised, with some believing that the transaction was done by copy-pasting data and accidentally pasting an output into the fee box without double-checking.
On Sept. 13, Paxos announced that it owned the server that made the transfer. Following its claim, the company assured its users that their funds were safe and that the funds belonged to Paxos. The company also clarified that PayPal was not involved in the mistake and admitted that the error was its own.
Almost a day after Paxos’ claims, the Bitcoin miner who received the funds went on X (formerly Twitter) to express frustrations after agreeing to refund the amount to Paxos. The miner asked its X followers what they would do in its stead, and a majority voted to just distribute the money to other Bitcoin miners. However, this advice doesn’t appear to have been taken. Blockchain data shared by Bitcoin explorer Mempool confirmed that the funds were indeed returned on Sept. 15.
Thousands of dollars in transaction fee mistakes have been lost before. Back in 2019, an Ethereum user lost almost $400,000 in Ether (ETH) after making the mistake of pasting values in the wrong fields. Luckily, the Ethereum mining pool Sparkpool helped the user recover half of the funds lost.
North Korean hackers have stolen $340 million so far in 2023
Cryptocurrency stolen by North Korea-linked hackers reached $340.4 million as of Sept. 14, 2023, according to research from blockchain security firm Chainalysis.
While the figure is down 80% from the $1.65 billion stolen by the hackers in 2022, the firm has warned the industry that the risk is just as present as ever.
“The fact that this year’s numbers are down is not necessarily an indicator of improved security or reduced criminal activity,” Chainalysis said in a Sept. 14 report. “We must remember that 2022 set a dismally high benchmark.”
Experts warn DPRK uses stolen crypto to fund nuclear weapons programs. The cooperation between DPRK and Russian cybercriminals that we see above is disturbing, as Russian exchanges generally don't comply with law enforcement efforts to recover funds. https://t.co/mzBHpeqLql
— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) September 14, 2023
Erin Plante, Chainalysis’ vice president of investigations, told Cointelegraph that crypto firms need to focus on training employees to counter social engineering tactics commonly deployed by these hacker groups.
“With North Korean-linked hackers in particular, sophisticated social engineering tactics that take advantage of the trusting and carelessness of human nature to gain access to corporate networks has long been a favored attack vector,” he said. “Teams should be trained on these risks and warning signs.”
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