Ethereum DAO Hacker Named as TenX Founder Toby Hoenisch

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • The Ethereum DAO hacker has been allegedly unmasked as TenX co-founder Toby Hoenisch
  • Laura Shin identified Hoensich as the 2016 Ethereum DAO hacker in a new book
  • Shin stated in Forbes how the used new blockchain analysis tools to identify Hoenisch, who has denied the claims

The hacker of the Ethereum DAO in 2016 has been named as Toby Hoenisch, the founder of TenX. Hoenisch has been fingered by crypto writer and podcast host Laura Shin in her new book as the man who drained the Ethereum DAO of 3.6 million ETH, today worth a staggering $9.55 billion, which caused Ethereum to fork into Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Shin also revealed the name in a Forbes piece promoting her book, saying that Hoenisch initially denied the claims but failed to provide promised proof that it wasn’t him.

Hoenisch Identified Using Latest Blockchain Analysis Tools

Shin says in the Forbes piece that she didn’t set out to unmask the Ethereum DAO hacker, but using “(among other things), a powerful and previously secret forensics tool from crypto tracing firm Chainalysis” she was able to identify Hoenisch as the man who syphoned off the ETH in June 2016.

The 36-year-old programmer who was living in Singapore at the time of the hack but grew up in Austria, is best known as the co-founder and CEO of TenX, one of the earliest crypto companies to attempt to offer a physical debit card. TenX, founded in 2015, never managed to deliver on its promises and now only offers virtual cards.

Ethereum DAO Hack Led to Hard Fork

The Ethereum DAO was the first such entity in the crypto space, with investors sending their ETH to the DAO pot to be distributed to Ethereum-based projects, but on June 17 contributors realized that someone was draining the funds:

The reason Hoenisch wasn’t on a tropical beach days later was he would have had to submit a proposal and have it passed by the community in order to take the money out of the DAO completely. This gave the community time to come to a resolution, which resulted in the Ethereum/Ethereum Classic hard fork.

Shin naturally reserves the detail in the investigation for the book, but she does say that she reached out to Hoenisch with her evidence. Hoenisch responded by saying that “Your statement and conclusion is factually inaccurate”, offering to provide details refuting the findings but never answered follow-up messages to him asking for those details.