Riccardo Spagni, the founder of Monero, has dismissed claims that he is an informant who helped Interpol and other federal agencies trace funds.
Crypto influencer James Edwards claimed in a thread that Spagni outed himself as an Interpol informant after being detained by US marshals pending extradition.
Spagni accused of being an Interpol mole
In a tweet on March 20, James Edwards shared the 2021 report. Based on the reports, he speculates that Riccardo Spagni, the founder of Monero, may be an informant for Interpol.
“The evidence strongly suggests that he helped them track down Monero,” he added.
Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni was captured in August 2021 in the United States. The well-known crypto personality was taken into custody after being accused of crimes that first surfaced in 2009. He was reportedly on the run from fraud charges in South Africa.
Former employer Cape Cookies accused Spagni of fraud by creating bogus invoices. According to court records, Fluffypony allegedly stole $100,000 between October 2009 and June 2011.
Edwards based some of his arguments on this matter. Spagni’s lawyer postponed the trial and cited COVID-19 risks in response to South Africa’s extradition request. Prior to the March 2021 hearing, Edwards alleged that Spagni and his wife fled to South Africa. Furthermore, he claimed that his fear of the virus only prevented him from traveling to South Africa and not Bermuda. Edwards noted that his trip included an unscheduled stop in the US.
Based on asset tracing requests, Edwards said, “I exposed @mymonero[a project founded by @fluffypony]which was a “wallet” that stole funds and anonymized users (collectively).[@fluffyponyद्वारास्थापितपरियोजना)कापर्दाफाशकियाजोएक”वॉलेट”थाजिसनेधनचुरायाऔरउपयोगकर्ताओंकोगुमनामकरदिया(सामूहिकरूपसे)।
Notably, crypto commentators have used GPT-4 to draw some of these conjectures.
Meanwhile, author and analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb retweeted these claims. “Black Swam” author Claimed That if Monero’s main maintainer turns out to be an Interpol informant, then his claim that every bitcoin transaction is traceable could be accurate.
Monero’s founder denied the claims
Monero Founder ‘FluffyPony’ Responds To Allegations By Calling James Edward “Brain Dead”. In regards to the allegations, Spagni said, “This nonsense post is uncharacteristic, coming from a known scammer.”
He also took a dig at the influencer for using ChatGPT’s GPT-4 to “analyze” the reports. Monero founder denies all claims Said“I have never met and/or helped any law enforcement agency, or any government, or any person, or any government agency, or any company, or anyone to trace Monero.”
The founder defended Monero’s cryptography, saying that it cannot assist the government with “privileged access”. “I don’t have any special access to Monero’s code, GitHub repo, website, Twitter account, DNS records, donated funds, or anything else,” he added.
That said, Spagni agreed with Edwards’ source that Interpol had asked him for assistance, but “never followed up with what they needed the assistance for.”
In defense, the founder said, “They never responded with any details, they never reached out and told me what the request was. It may not have anything to do with Monero, I really do know.” Not what it was about.
According to Crunchbase, Spagni founded Monero in 2014 and registered it in Australia. Monero underwent a hard fork last August to bring several privacy upgrades. In October 2022, Monero developers were speculated to be behind the attack on Zcash.
At press time, Monero’s privacy-focused coin XMR is trading at $152 after a muted performance this week.
BeInCrypto has reached out to the company or individual involved in the story for an official statement regarding the recent developments, but has not yet received a response.