Bitcoin Core developer hack highlights self-custody risks: Community responds

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A Twitter user pointed out that if a top Bitcoin developer can’t keep his wallet secure, then mass adoption is a pipe dream.

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Bitcoin Core developer hack highlights self-custody risks: Community responds

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With one of Bitcoin’s original core developers claiming that his balance got drained by a hacker, the crypto community is at a loss at how “normal people” can succeed at securing their own Bitcoin (BTC).

In a recent thread, Luke Dashjr claimed that some alleged attackers had somehow accessed his (pretty good privacy (PGP) key, which is from an encryption program that creates cryptographic authentication.

Members of the crypto community voiced their concerns about how a Bitcoin core developer who is known for being security conscious could be compromised. Some believe that this makes it difficult for normal people to adopt or secure their Bitcoin.

In a post, a Twitter user was shocked by the news, believing that not many would be able to help the developer and that “there’s little hope for most.” They tweeted:

You’ve definitely been one of the most security conscious folks I’ve known in this space, so this is a little shocking. I’m not sure many would be able to have useful insight, unfortunately.

If this can happen to you, there’s little hope for most people, sadly.

— Jason Hughes (@wk057) January 1, 2023

Other community members echoed the sentiment and highlighted that if it could happen to Dashjr, there would be “no nope” for their grandma. A Twitter user also brought mass adoption to the conversation. They believe that if a top Bitcoin developer cannot keep his wallet secure, mass adoption is a “pipe dream.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin analyst Namcios believes that these sentiments are not a fair assessment of the situation. The analyst highlighted that though Dashjr has a high level of Bitcoin knowledge, this doesn’t mean that he cannot make mistakes.

1/ This is not a good take. And CZ retweeting it is bad.

It *sucks* this happened and I feel very sorry for Luke.

But it’s not black & white like that.

There are levels to #Bitcoin security and often we concede on the convenience tradeoff.

It seems…

— Namcios (@namcios) January 1, 2023

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also responded to Dashjr’s Twitter thread asking the developer if there’s anything that the crypto exchange can do to help. Zhao also promised that their security team would monitor the assets and freeze the BTC if any of them got deposited into their crypto exchange. 

Related: Crypto self-custody a ‘fundamental human right’ but not risk-free: Community

On Nov. 14, the Binance CEO recommended self-custody only with small amounts, as mistakes could get “very costly.” Zhao described self-custody as a fundamental human right and urged the community to make sure to do it right. Apart from Zhao, MicroStrategy chairman Michael Saylor also discussed the merits of self-custody amid the FTX collapse. Saylor said that custodians “accumulate too much power” in a system where there is no self-custody.

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