A person known as ZachXBT, who identifies themselves as an “on-chain sleuth,” is currently facing a defamation lawsuit filed against them in a Texas court. The plaintiff in this case is Jeffrey Huang, who also goes by the alias “Machi Big Brother.” The lawsuit alleges that ZachXBT made defamatory statements in a post from 2022, where they claimed that Huang had embezzled 22,000 ETH from the crypto management firm Formosa Financial.
According to the lawsuit, there was a lack of evidence in the article, and the defendant’s accusations regarding Huang’s supposed criminal behavior are entirely false. The lawsuit further asserts that ZachXBT published the article with the intention of personal gain, seeking to attract attention, retweets, and additional donations at the expense of Huang’s reputation. Huang’s attempts to have the article taken down were reportedly unsuccessful, leading him to pursue a jury trial and seek compensatory damages.
In response to the lawsuit, ZachXBT took to Twitter and stated, “The lawsuit is baseless and an attempt to chill free speech. I intend to fight back & defend free speech.” They also shared a donation address to assist with legal costs, expressing the possibility that expenses could exceed $1 million USD. Currently, the balance of the donation address stands at approximately 33 ETH, equivalent to around $57,000.
ZachXBT mentioned on Twitter that they accept donations in various EVM chains, with a preference for stablecoins. They assured contributors that any excess funds would be returned on a pro rata basis. Describing the situation as a classic David and Goliath story, ZachXBT highlighted the difference in wealth between themselves and Huang, implying that Huang is utilizing his financial resources to suppress ZachXBT’s voice. ZachXBT also mentioned that their legal name is visible in publicly available copies of the lawsuit, although they obscured it in a recent tweet about the case.