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Serbian hacker denied bail in exchange for Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency

Ajay Narayan



Serbian hacker denied bail in exchange for Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency
Source: Unsplash

According to a report released on 15th August, Martin Marsich, a 25-year-old Serbian-Italian national was taken to Federal Court for a hearing. He was accused of allegedly hacking into the private network and getting access to 25000 accounts of customers who buy items at the store for use in video games.

Marsich was arrested for intentionally accessing a protected computer to get information of individuals for private financial gain. The hack began on 24th September, 2017, but Electronic Arts [EA] realized that its systems had been compromised only on 25th March, 2018.

Marsich was accused of using a developer software designed to let two apps communicate. He gained access to a secret key that only EA possessed, resulting in him tampering with EA’s systems and altering their databases. According to FBI’s affidavit, Electronic Arts informed the FBI that it suspects the hacker sold the stolen accounts over the dark web or online black markets. The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation blamed Marsich for infiltrating Redwood City video game company, Electronic Arts in San Fransisco [SFO], California and stealing roughly $324,000 worth of digital goods, according to court documents.

Federal Judge Jaqueline Corley ordered Marsich to pay $750,000 in Bitcoin [BTC] or any other cryptocurrency as a compensation for his bail. Cryptocurrencies have become so prevalent online but Marsich, federal authorities, and the court were in a dilemma when they realized the difficulties in using digital currency in the real world. They were concerned about selling a large stash of small and lightly traded coins which could have caused the value of the currency to fluctuate dramatically.

Unfortunately, due to liability issues, the FBI could not take possession of the cryptocurrency even though part of it would be used for restitution to Electronic Arts. Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Knight spoke about her conversation with the district council and that they had shown no interest in granting bail in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

The federal authorities shifted gears after setting up the bail which included creating a cryptocurrency wallet to facilitate the transfer. They reversed the following week’s decision and said it was not going to accept digital coins as collateral. Ultimately, the prosecutors and the defense came to a conclusion by demanding Marsich to sell $200,000 worth of his cryptocurrency with the help of a broker and secure his bail. According to court documents, it is not clear whether the transfer has occurred yet.

According to an audio recording of the proceedings obtained by MarketWatch assistant U.S. attorney Ben Kingsley said on the August 9th court hearing:

“My sense is that it’s happened before, but it’s not the most common thing, so it might take a couple of days to get set up, By then we should have the [cryptocurrency] wallet set up and we can do the transaction with the agents present.”

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Ajay Narayan is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has majored in Economics, Political Science and Sociology. His interests are inclined towards writing and investing in cryptocurrencies.


Bitcoin SV [BSV] gets hit with another reorg as multiple blocks get orphaned, including a 128 MB block

Akash Anand



Bitcoin SV [BSV] gets hit with another reorg as multiple blocks get orphaned, including a 128 MB block
Source: Pixabay

Bitcoin SV [BSV] and its proponents have been making headlines over the past couple of weeks, either due to developments or because of comments made by its major proponents, Craig Wright, the chief scientist at nChain, and Calvin Ayre.

The network was also hit with several members of the cryptocurrency community alleging that the cryptocurrency itself is a sham without any use cases, as evidenced by its delisting on several popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Kraken and Shapeshift.

The latest news added salt to BSV’s wounds after it was revealed that the network went through another blockchain reorganization on a 128 MB block. This fact was pointed out by Nikita Zhavoronkov, the lead developer of Blockchair, who had tweeted:

“Whoops! $BSV has experienced yet another reorg, this time 6 (six!) consecutive blocks were orphaned (#578640–578645), this chain included a 128 MB block #578644 🤦‍♂️ The network was basically stuck for 1.5 hours, and this shows that even 6 confirmations are not enough.”

Orphaned blocks are valid blocks which are not part of the main chain. There are ways that they can occur naturally when two miners produce blocks at similar times or they can be a result of an attacker with enough hashing power using it for nefarious activities like reversing transactions.

A major reason why this reorg event made news was that a major 128 MB block was stuck in transaction, something that was not supposed to occur according to the initial claims made by the SV camp. Supporters of the cryptocurrency, however, have stated that despite being slower than promised, the transactions on the block settled faster than that on a Bitcoin Core block.

One supporter of BSV, mboyd1, tweeted:

“Orphaned blocks are a feature, not a bug”

To this tweet, Zyo, another cryptocurrency enthusiast replied:

“yes, but orphaning 6 blocks in a row is not good, that means that 6 confirmations is not safe. It’s a bug because the 100+ MB take way too long to propagate and validate. There is a reason why BCH doesn’t have [yet] 100+ MB blocks.”

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