The NFT space’s favorite on-chain sleuth ZachXBT is back with a new bombshell report, this time on the tech entrepreneur and NFT whale Jeff Huang AKA Machi Big Brother. The report is the most extensive one that ZachXBT has ever written, coming as a full-on blog post as opposed to the usual Twitter threads. To be sure, ZachXBT comes to some explosive conclusions.
Let’s break down what the blockchain detective found.
First things first – who is Jeff Huang aka Machi Big Brother?
Jeff Huang, known in the NFT and crypto space as Machi Big Brother, is a tech entrepreneur and former musician based out of Taiwan. Huang first came to fame between 1991 and 1997 as part of the music trio L.A. Boyz. Then in 2003, he followed up with the hip hop group Machi. From there Huang and partners created MACHI Entertainment, a wildly successful Asian hip hop record label.
Huang’s first foray into the tech world came in 2015 when he founded 17 Media, which went on to become one of the most popular live-streaming apps in Asia. But it’s with his first Crypto-related venture Mithril, that ZachXBT claims Huang started some nefarious practices.
Since then, Machi Big Brother has become a large figure in the NFT space. In fact, he is one of the most notable holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
What is ZachXBT’s Machi Big Brother report all about?
As we’ve come to expect from ZachXBT, a ton of evidence accompanies all of the claims and observations in the report. Not just from blockchain transactions, but old whitepapers, Medium articles, and messages on Discord, Telegram, and Twitter.
In the report, ZachXBT looks to paint a picture of Machi Big Brother’s pattern of behavior in the crypto space. Specifically, ZachXBT details Huang/Machi’s involvement in what he calls “sketchy projects with shadowy team members, questionable ethics, and rote pump and dump practices”.
Formosa Financial: the source of ZachXBT’s 22K ETH embezzlement claims
Of the nine different Machi Big Brother projects that Zach XBT outlines in the report, Formosa Financial by far gets the most attention. And for obvious reasons.
Formosa Financial was a treasury management platform for blockchain companies. Huang/Machi founded with Taiwanese politician George Hsieh and a number of other partners around early 2018. Significantly, Formosa was able to raise two separate funding rounds of 22,000 ETH for a total of 44,000 ETH ($23M) in April and May of 2021.
Along with a number of allegedly suspicious actions, ZachXBT explains what is evidently the biggest red flag regarding Machi Big Brother and Formosa.
“Three weeks after the FMF ICO, Formosa Financial took a turn for the worse when two withdrawals of 11,000 ETH each were made from the Formosa Financial treasury wallet on June 22nd, 2018. Unbeknownst to investors, cofounder George Hsieh acting as the sole director of the company, pushing a share buyback through himself, executing on both sides.”
ZachXBT continues with various blockchain transaction data supposedly linking Machi Big Brother to the two withdrawals of 11K ETH.
How have people reacted to the report?
Predictably, Jeff Huang/Machi Big Brother came out on Twitter to refute the report. Even saying that he would sue ZachXBT for misinformation “if he wasn’t anon”. However, he didn’t find an awful lot of support for his position on Twitter.
To be sure, ZachXBT’s reputation in Web3 speaks for itself. That is to say, the on-chain sleuth is a highly trusted voice in the space. As a result, the feeling was overwhelming that ZachXBT’s conclusions were accurate. To illustrate, most of the commentary on both ZachXBT’s and Machi Big Brother’s tweets was congratulating ZachXBT and/or ridiculing Machi Big Brother.
Of course, many will find the report very convincing. Even so, it’s important to note that they are not conclusive proof of wrongdoing by Machi Big Brother. Indeed, the thing about on-chain evidence is that someone still has to interpret what it means. In other words, time will tell whether ZachXBT’s conclusions are accurate, or if there is more to the story.