The cryptocurrency world was rocked recently when claims surfaced that Riccardo Spagni, one of the founders of Monero (XMR), had been working as an informant for Interpol. While Spagni vehemently denied the allegations, the speculation continues to swirl, with many questioning the credibility of the source that made the claims.
Monero, the privacy-focused cryptocurrency, has been in the spotlight recently after allegations surfaced that its founder, Riccardo Spagni, was arrested by the South African Interpol. Spagni, who goes by the name Fluffypony on social media, denied the allegations in a tweet on March 22nd, but not before the rumor spread and garnered attention from both the cryptocurrency community and the mainstream media.
The Allegations and Denial
On March 22nd, Twitter user @Librehash tweeted a claim that Spagni had been arrested by the South African Interpol and was awaiting extradition to the United States. The tweet, which included a screenshot of an alleged arrest warrant, quickly went viral and sparked a flurry of speculation on social media and in the press.
Spagni, who is based in South Africa, took to Twitter to deny the allegations. In a tweet, he stated, “No, I am not in jail, no, I am not extradited, no, I am not ‘awol,’ and no, I am not going to comment further.” He followed up with a tweet that included a screenshot of a message from the South African police, which confirmed that he was not in custody.
Despite Spagni’s denial, the story gained traction and was even picked up by mainstream news outlets. However, not everyone was taking the allegations seriously. Author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, known for his book “The Black Swan,” tweeted about the situation, saying “The best way to keep your enemies at bay is to convince them you are working for Interpol.”
Spagni retweeted Taleb’s tweet, adding “Now you’re getting it.” While it’s unclear whether Taleb was actually joking or whether he believes the allegations, his tweet adds a lighthearted tone to an otherwise serious situation.
What Does This Mean for Monero?
As of now, it’s unclear what impact these allegations and the subsequent denial will have on Monero. However, the fact that the story gained so much traction shows the power of social media and the importance of verifying information before it’s spread.
In a statement to Forbes, Monero Core Team member Justin Ehrenhofer stated that “Riccardo Spagni has no active role in the Monero project” and that “the community, developers, and contributors of Monero will continue to build privacy-preserving technology regardless of the situation.”
Subsequent to the initial allegations, a report from MyBroadband, a South African news outlet, stated that Spagni was in fact arrested on October 20, 2021, on charges of fraud related to a tax case. However, the report also noted that Spagni was released on bail and that the charges are related to a personal matter and not to Monero.
The allegations against Monero’s founder have caused a stir in the cryptocurrency community and the mainstream media. While Spagni has denied the allegations, the situation highlights the importance of verifying information before it’s spread. As for Monero, the allegations are unlikely to have a significant impact on the project, as the community, developers, and contributors will continue to build privacy-preserving technology regardless of the situation.