On June 14, prominent on-chain sleuth ZachXBT announced on Twitter the resolution of the legal conflict with Jeffrey Huang, musician and NFT trader known as Machi Big Brother. As the detective shared with his Twitter followers, Huang "has agreed to voluntarily withdraw the lawsuit," which was requested in response to ZachXBT’s 2022 article "A Story of Machi Big Brother (Jeff Huang)."
ZachXBT plans to return the funds donated to him to support the lawsuit. The famous detective received more than $1 million from his numerous Twitter followers, including Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
Back in June, news of the staggering amount of money the detective had received attracted malicious actors who tried to benefit from it by threatening ZachXBT with physical violence.
Now, some of the detective’s supporters have asked him to keep their money to honor his work.
ZachXBT and Huang collaborated on the edition of the detective’s article, which, according to MachiBigBrother’s demand for a jury trial, "falsely presented Plaintiff [Huang] as a criminal that had embezzled millions of dollars in cryptocurrency and manipulated markets."
Although some of ZachXBT's Twitter followers claimed that the original article never directly said anything about Machi Big Brother misappropriating funds, Twitter user 0xMunger.eth compared the two versions of the article using the version control platform GitHub and found that the original text did indeed contain fairly direct allegations such as "embezzlement of 22,000 ETH from Formosa Financial" and "launching over ten failed pump-and-dump tokens and NFT projects."
In addition to ZachXBT's modifications in the article, there are also comments from Huang, who provided more details about specific projects and the reasons for their failure, claiming that he lost money on them.
For example, Huang explained the fate of Machi X, "a social marketplace for intellectual property rights." As per Huang, "Machi X was funded by Mithril holders who got an airdrop. It was a pioneer in the space of selling music copyrights on-chain, but once it was clear there was no product market fit, it was wound down." Mithril, in turn, was a decentralized social media platform designed to reward content creators.
When the edited version of the article was published, Machi Big Brother tweeted about withdrawing his defamation lawsuit against the detective.
"Zach has many times in the past been of great service to the crypto community and pursuing legal action against him was a last resort but not the right path," Huang wrote in a tweet on August 14, adding that he appreciated "Zach’s important amendments to his article."
The news has prompted many theories in the crypto community. Some Twitter users believe that the fact that Machi Big Brother was willing to withdraw the defamation lawsuit is a proof that he is not innocent, "Machi has withdrawn the lawsuit, it shows something."
Meanwhile, others are convinced that "the original founder was using Zach to make Machi the fall guy," while the detective "just accepted that the project founder was innocent and Machi was guilty."
It is not clear though who "the original founder" mentioned by the Twitter users is and which of the projects listed in ZachXBT's updated article they are referring to. In addition to Machi X and Mithril, the sleuth mentions many other projects in his article including Formosa Financial, "a treasury management platform built for blockchain companies," and a peer-to-peer lending platform Cream Finance, particularly known for being hacked at least three times.
The list also includes a Yearn Finance fork Wifey Finance, an adult entertainment site Swag.live, Basis Cash's fork Mith Cash, Tornado Cash’s fork Typhoon Cash, "randomized in-game assets stored on-chain" Mud Games, and Squid DAO, OHM/Nouns DAO fork.
Some followers of ZachXBT also suggested the detective chose "a bit extreme" wording for his original article and "it would have been difficult to prove that this amount was actually embezzled."