Blockchain investigator ZachXBT has received over $1 million in donations from the crypto community in just over 24 hours to pay for his legal fees in a defamation lawsuit.
ZachXBT, known for his investigative work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, has become embroiled in a legal dispute with Jeffrey Huang, better known on Twitter as MachiBigBrother.
On June 16, Huang tweeted that he had filed a defamation lawsuit against ZachXBT, accusing him of damaging his reputation through false allegations.
While Huang didn’t specify those allegations, in June 2022, an article was published by ZachXBT titled: 22,000 ETH Embezzled and Over Ten Projects Failed: The Story of Machi Big Brother (Jeff Huang).
In the article, ZachXBT accused Huang of launching over “over 10 failed pump and dump tokens and NFT projects.”
Responding to the lawsuit in a series of tweets on June 17, ZachXBT called the lawsuit “baseless” and an “attempt to chill free speech.”
He set up a donation wallet address for his followers to assist with the legal fees, which he believes could “easily exceed” $1 million.
3/ I am creating a donation address to assist with legal costs associated with the defense of this matter, which could easily exceed $1m USD.
All leftover funds will be returned on a pro rata basis to contributors.
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) June 16, 2023
He added that the lawsuit “is sickening,” but he “knew one day” it would happen, as that is “the price” of honesty.
“The price of telling the truth is sometimes people dislike what you say,” he tweeted.
Several crypto executives donated to ZachXBT and praised him for his work in the crypto and Web3 industry.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of crypto exchange Binance, praised ZachXBT in a tweet telling him to “keep the industry transparent,” along with a pledge that Binance will “contribute $50K” to his legal fees.
Jesse Powell, the co-founder of crypto exchange Kraken, also thanked ZachXBT for “all that” he does, stating he would be donating 10 Ether (ETH), approximately $17,294.30 at the time of writing.
In for 10 ETH. Thanks for all that you do. Good luck.
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) June 18, 2023
Meanwhile, Polygon’s founder Sandeep Nailwal tweeted that ZachXBT is the “reason web3 is alive and flourishing,” stating that he will donate 5 ETH, approximately $8,645.35 at the time of writing.
Just one day after ZachXBT shared the link to the donation wallet address on Twitter, he exceeded the $1 million mark in contributions.
In October 2022, Cointelegraph reported that the French authorities had utilized ZachXBT’s research to charge five people on suspicion of stealing $2.5 million worth of nonfungible tokens through phishing scams.