A former blackhat hacker who goes by the name Gummo online claims to have amassed around $7 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC).
Despite a flood of positive comments and posts relating to his interviews with the Soft White Underbelly YouTube channel — which has 3.18 million subscribers — information about Gummo is scarce elsewhere. This could either be by design or suggest that a large pinch of salt may be required when listening to his extravagant claims.
He said that he has been working in the field for more than 30 years. While he started hacking for illicit reasons and got caught by authorities, he has since turned to do good work — thanks to the support and counsel of his wife — such as threat hunting, cybersecurity and developer consulting.
The latest comments came as part of a follow-up interview published on Saturday after the initial discussion occurred in late 2020. During the first video, Gummo stated that he built four supercomputers to mine Bitcoin when it was priced at around $200-300 back in 2013, and generated more than 80,000 BTC within a year and a half.
According to his claims, he has now amassed roughly 179,000 BTC. If his holdings are calculated at current prices, that would rank him at around the 369th richest person globally, according to Forbes’ 2021 world’s billionaires list:
“I’m quite wealthy. Yeah, I do not have to work if I don’t choose to. I have over seven billion dollars worth of Bitcoin. ”
Gummo stated that his current work in hacking is not motivated by the desire to have a job or money, but by helping the little guy, as he emphasized the importance of choosing to do the right thing and protect people from online evil.
“Knowing that I‘m preventing someone’s grandmother from being a victim of some sort of cyber extortion scheme, that’s the thing I get up for each day and those are the things that motivate me currently,” he said.
“The landscape is growing darker and more sinister as more people wish to seek their wealth. Whether it be cryptocurrency theft or traditional theft of banking systems.”
“The fact that governments now are keen to begin a war on just the idea of software being deployed is quite frightening and unfortunately that will be society’s new reality,” he added.
Looking at the response to both interviews, it appears Gummo is quickly becoming a beloved figure due to his back story, which includes a difficult upbringing, the loss of loved ones and a significant shift from the dark side of hacking to helping people online.
The latest video has 14,000 likes so far and there is an almost endless amount of positive feedback for the figure, while the first video has 144,000 likes and the same sentiment in the comments.
“This man has inspired me to pursue cybersecurity with good intent. I‘m a broke teacher, LOVE teaching because it helps students so never focused on the paycheck. Now too old to teach. Considered cybersecurity as a new career to pay the bills, but Gummo has given more meaning to this career, will now pursue the career to make the world a better place too. Thank you, Gummo,” wrote YouTube user Zim Petrichor.
User quicklern818 stated that: “I don‘t think we're ever going to see this man again, and in a way, I feel that‘s appropriate — he's like a guardian angel, working behind the scenes and always watching. Sending love to him and his family, and a thank you for all of his hard work.”