Guardian Reporter Alex Hern’s Identity Was Used to Flog a Cryptocurrency Scam

Alex Hern, the Guardian:

On Monday morning I woke up to a pair of odd DMs on Twitter. “Sir, Greetings, Do you have any information about Dejitaru Tsuka token,” asked one “Dr. Joker”; another had a similar question: “Yo dude what do you know about Tsuka.”

I’d not heard about the cryptocurrency, and a quick scan suggested it wasn’t worth my time: it was a classic “shitcoin”, a newly created token with no reason for existence beyond buying low and selling high.


So I assumed the DMs were the “pump” phase of pump and dump, and ignored them. But then I got a follow-up message, asking me if I was behind an email address “”, that the developer of the Tsuka coin had posted on to the blockchain, with the note “encrypted Guardian contact”. One buyer had emailed the address, and, thinking they were speaking to me, asked if they knew anything about the coin. A one-word reply, “Yes”, helped push a buying frenzy — of sorts.

The way of the future.