CoinJar COO Ryan Zhou Caught Impersonating Dice Site's Developer

Co-founder and COO of CoinJar Ryan Zhou – better known as Zhoutong and for his involvement in the two thefts which plagued Bitcoinica back in 2012 – has been found once again with his hand in the cookie jar this time impersonating the developer of the bitcoin gambling sites BitDice.me and DogeDice.me on the subreddit /r/bitcoinmarkets.

Starting with a now deleted post in which an unknown user – arguably Zhoutong himself – complained that BTC-e had locked their account containing over 100 BTC and would not release the funds unless the user was forthcoming with identity documents. BitDice.me has since confirmed BTC-e locked the user's account at its behest after the funds were withdrawn from the dice site earlier this year when a user exploited the fact the dice site's administrator foolishly left test code on the live site which enabled users to add the site's own bitcoin to their account.

Possibly responding to his own OP, goldcakes (archive) AKA Ryan Zhou wrote:

Hi, I am the developer of BitDice.me and DogeDice.me. I have looked and we do not have any emails mentioning "btc-e" in our records.

Futhermore we would never claim to an exchange that a user has stole our coins unless they actually did so. Can you please email us again with your account number and/or txids? We will be happy to follow up with btc-e.

Best, Adrian

And while that post is signed as Adrian1, through a series of clever baiting on /r/bitcoin and Qntra, the cross referencing of posts made to reddit and Facebook confirming the past, present and future whereabouts including other travel arrangements and holidays, posts made to the League of Legends forums and sexual orientation, Qntra was able to ascertain that the reddit username goldcakes belongs to Ryan Zhou as far back as six months ago. Knowing this, Qntra opted to sit on the information in the hope Ryan Zhou would at some point implicate himself in additional fraud. In this case, patience has paid off.

In response to goldcake's attempt to impersonate the developer of its site, BitDice.me replied:

First of all everything in this topic is a lie except that coins were blocked on BTC-E by our request and we appreciate their help on this case.

OP is thief.

Account goldcakes has no relation to company BitDice Casino S.L.R. We do not know who it is and might be OP's alt.

Now, what has really happen was posted by NLNico on our official thread on BCT.

We are preparing official reply which will be posted on reddit and BitcoinTalk soon.

Regards, Alex

BitDice.me continues:

As you aware, on March 24 BitDice lost ~145 BTC (more information can be found here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=975399.msg10875932#msg10875932). We tracked down those coins. 85BTC were blocked on BTC-E by our request. We deeply appreciate their help and cooperation on this case. I kept silence about it while both parties conducted investigation. However, the thief went out public on reddit harassing reputation of BTC-E and impersonating BitDice developer. Here are the links:

https://www.reddit.com/r/BitcoinMarkets/comments/39pxat/btce_stole_100_bitcoins_from_me_and_i_have_no/ https://www.reddit.com/r/litecoin/comments/39rhvs/btce_allegedly_froze_this_customers_account_with/ https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/39r20v/btce_stole_100_bitcoins_from_me_and_i_have_no/

I will try to say as much as I can without providing any private information about this case until further notice from our attorneys.

There were no dice playing by that user, he didn't win anything – he just stole the funds from the account. Legally it's called embezzlement and fraud. Coins were tracked down to the wallet that belongs to BTC-E. We got in touch with BTC-E and told them what has happened and they started their own investigation and delayed withdrawal of those coins.

I deeply apologize that it harmed reputation of BTC-E. They did what every legal business would have done in this case, that is attempting to seize the theft. And I really appreciate that bitcoin community can help each other in such cases.

At the moment case solved. Coins have been returned to us. On this I would again thank BTC-E for great help.

Regards, BitDice Casino S.L.R.

Time's up Ryan Zhou, you just got Zhou Tonged!


  1. There is an Adrian who works at CoinJar as support. 

9 thoughts on “CoinJar COO Ryan Zhou Caught Impersonating Dice Site's Developer

    • Nope, I'm not sure deedbot was even online back at that time. In any case, there are two people who can confirm I made the goldcakes = zhoutong allegation back around that time period if they so wish to make a comment here.

      • Cazalla has been making a connection here for a while, and slowly building more connection and waiting for a newsy thing to drop it on.

  1. It's still a bad thing that BTC-e would seize "tainted" coins, right? I mean, unless the "thief" sent the funds directly from the dice site to the exchange, there is no way to know for sure that some innocent third party didn't unknowingly buy those coins and then legitimately tried to sell them. Even then, it's a stretch to call the guy a "thief" since he simply took advantage of some poorly written code. Sounds like 80 bitcoin is a fair price to pay for having that kind of hole in your system.

    • It's still a bad thing that BTC-e would seize "tainted" coins, right? I mean, unless the "thief" sent the funds directly from the dice site to the exchange

      I think that's actually what happened, which means the thief is spectacularly dumb.

      BTC-e does not freeze funds due to "taint" very often (stolen/hacked accounts, that's another story).

      I think this was a somewhat special case where the BTC-e owners and BitDice owners knew each other, and the BitDice owners could prove control of the private key that sent directly to the BTC-e account.

      Lesson: if you're going to rob a site, run the funds through your own wallet first. At least split them up and make it look like somebody paying somebody.

    • Well.. The coins were in BTC-e's hands so they can do what they fuckin' please I suppose. Suppose it wasn't a thief, as per your example, but a person who 'unknowingly' bought those coins (how can you not know you buy coins?…)
      Having your coins seized because you didn't do your due diligence sounds like a fair price to pay for being stupid.

      Relying on the good-natured spirit of exchanges are passé. It even beckons the question of fungibility (especially for stupid people).

  2. Title should read

    CoinJar COO Ryan "Zhoutong" Zhou Caught Impersonating Dice Site's Developer

    For maximum infamy and optmal lulz. Also because it is GBANGtacular.

    *!*

    • I haven't much looked into it, but it does appear that lawl enforcement was not involved, or necessary, or even relevant in this case. It seems to be merely a case of some ephemeral digital tokens that were swapped around a bit, wherein a dispute arose, and was eventually settled by agreement and pure force of ownership.

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