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Author Topic: Unknown BTC transactions go IN and OUT of my wallet  (Read 255 times)
_Krata01
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March 08, 2019, 12:46:33 AM
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #1

Hi, I'm using a couple of online crypto tax services to calculate my taxes. I was reviewing all of my past transactions which mostly happened in 2017 and stumbled on something very unsettling. It showed that in 2017 during a period of 3 month I made over 400+ BTC transactions which were going in and out of my wallet.

On one of the crypto tax services I used, showed a BTC chart analysis since the day I invested and at some point in 2017 it showed a gain of 2.5M$. I'm a small fish so those are not my transactions.

The thing is my balance of what I invested is correct and I believed it never changed because I periodically check my wallet. It never was anything different from what it should be, although I can't remember if I checked it during those few month when the unknown transactions took place. None of my BTC that I invested in was stolen. I don't trade with BTC but hold so I only bought it from Coinbase and transfer it to my wallet.

I'm thinking, although I might be completely wrong, that someone used my public address to make transactions to avoid taxes? I don't know, I don't understand much how could this whole thing happened.

Any thoughts on this? Thanks.
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March 08, 2019, 01:16:27 AM
 #2

What "tax" are you referring to? Are you talking about the fee when you are making any transaction from your wallet?

I'm thinking, although I might be completely wrong, that someone used my public address to make transactions to avoid taxes? I don't know, I don't understand much how could this whole thing happened.
No one could use your public address unless if someone knows your private key/seed phrase.

Let me ask if what wallet are you using?

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March 08, 2019, 01:42:44 AM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #3

Okay, if chain (not chart) analysis was involved, there are two things that might have happened:

  • 1. One of your wallet's private key was leaked (by any means) and someone imported it in their own wallet (most of the time, together with other's keys) to "mask" their activity and to divert any investigations being conducted against them.
  • 2. You've imported an address (prv key) to that wallet that has been used to send and receive huge amount of BTC and you used that particular address' inputs together with your own address'.
.
Either way, chain analysis tool will find out that those addresses belong to the same wallet.

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March 08, 2019, 04:24:22 AM
 #4

What wallet do you use and how do you store/secure your seed/wallet files?

  • 1. One of your wallet's private key was leaked (by any means) and someone imported it in their own wallet (most of the time, together with other's keys) to "mask" their activity and to divert any investigations being conducted against them.

It's possible, but unlikely since :
1. People who attempt mask/obfuscate their coins/transaction with such way (steal others private key/seed) most likely is bad people who have no reason to avoid chance to steal other's coin.
2. There's possibility chain analysis will think it's CoinJoin transaction.
3. Since OP have small amount of Bitcoin while attacker have big amount of Bitcoin, it's pretty easy to track due to amount difference since each transaction is still linked/connected.

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March 08, 2019, 05:56:06 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1), LoyceV (1)
 #5

Thank you all for your reply.  I'm using Ledger Nano S and I never gave away my private keys or exposed my seed or wallet files to anyone.  All my files including seeds are in the flash drives and not accessible by anyone.  That is why I'm puzzled but this.   

But today while searching for answers online I came across a post where someone had exactly the same thing happened to him.  The answer to his post was that he has a custodial wallet such as an exchange wallet or coinbase etc, so they're controlling his wallet, and he doesn't own his wallet's master key.  In this case, these type of wallets will usually move around the funds in wallets but will still allow you to spend from a separate address based on the documented amount you have in their proprietary database. 

I can totally understand this explanation because my actual balance did not decrease but it does looks like someone was using my public address to move around the funds.  However, my wallet is not custodial but cold storage wallet where I own my own key.  I'm completely puzzled by this.
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March 08, 2019, 07:24:50 AM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1), bones261 (1)
 #6

You posted a Bitcoin address, then removed it again (for privacy, I guess). I looked at the address already and will answer from that:
The transaction has about 100 inputs and 40 outputs. This looks like an exchange, I'm pretty sure that address is not part of your Ledger Nano S, it's owned by an exchange. According to walletexplorer.com, the wallet currently holds over 5000BTC.

But today while searching for answers online I came across a post where someone had exactly the same thing happened to him.  The answer to his post was that he has a custodial wallet such as an exchange wallet or coinbase etc, so they're controlling his wallet, and he doesn't own his wallet's master key.  In this case, these type of wallets will usually move around the funds in wallets but will still allow you to spend from a separate address based on the documented amount you have in their proprietary database.  

I can totally understand this explanation because my actual balance did not decrease but it does looks like someone was using my public address to move around the funds.  However, my wallet is not custodial but cold storage wallet where I own my own key.  I'm completely puzzled by this.
I still think the same thing happened here. You should recheck if the address is part of your Ledger. My guess is you used it to send funds to when you're funding an exchange.

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March 08, 2019, 09:48:21 AM
 #7

It is highly unlikely that you got hacked or that someone has access to your private keys since your accounts would have been emptied by now.
Are you using the Ledger Live app? You can see all your incoming transactions there and those are the addresses you used to receive the Bitcoins on your Ledger? Check and see if that address you are talking about is listed there as a receiving address.

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_Krata01
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March 08, 2019, 05:46:30 PM
 #8

LoyceV and Pmalek..  Thank you for looking into it.   I do agree with you and that's what I started to think as well that I don't actually own my key.   Yikes ...not ideal. 

I do use the Ledger Live app and I will try to do as you suggested and look at the incoming transactions but I believe that the receiving address is the correct one because I did receive BTC that I bought from Coinbase to this exact address. 

The bottom line is, I don't want to keep my funds in this address any longer.  The reason why I keep it in the cold storage is so no one would control my wallet.  So my question now is can I transfer my BTC to a different address within the ledger wallet?  Will it create a new address where I will own my wallets' master key?  thanks!
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March 08, 2019, 07:13:53 PM
Merited by bones261 (2), vapourminer (1)
 #9

LoyceV and Pmalek..  Thank you for looking into it.   I do agree with you and that's what I started to think as well that I don't actually own my key.   Yikes ...not ideal.  

I do use the Ledger Live app and I will try to do as you suggested and look at the incoming transactions but I believe that the receiving address is the correct one because I did receive BTC that I bought from Coinbase to this exact address.  

The bottom line is, I don't want to keep my funds in this address any longer.  The reason why I keep it in the cold storage is so no one would control my wallet.  So my question now is can I transfer my BTC to a different address within the ledger wallet?  Will it create a new address where I will own my wallets' master key?  thanks!

Ehh, if you don't own "your" "key", how about the adress was never belonging to you in the first place? I fail to understand how that is not a possibility (if not the answer, as LoyceV mentioned?)

Quote
he reason why I keep it in the cold storage is so no one would control my wallet.
If your wallet was compromised, surely the attackers would've taken your funds. "Laundering money" through someone else's adresses to avoid taxes is also not how it works, and would be just plain useless.

Quote
So my question now is can I transfer my BTC to a different address within the ledger wallet?  Will it create a new address where I will own my wallets' master key?  thanks!
That wouldn't solve the problem of your wallet supposedly being compromised. If you really think it is, you should reset it, https://cryptosec.info/how-to-reset-ledger-wallet/, export your seed of the current wallet into a safe desktop wallet (Electrum), and make a transaction from there to your new ledger adress.

Doing anything else would just give you a false sense of security. (That is, if your ledger was really compromised, which from the info i'm getting, don't think is the case here).



Note that i'd recommend making a backup before doing so, and maybe not doing it at all if you don't understand what you're doing.

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March 08, 2019, 08:33:13 PM
Merited by bones261 (2), LoyceV (1)
 #10

I do use the Ledger Live app and I will try to do as you suggested and look at the incoming transactions but I believe that the receiving address is the correct one because I did receive BTC that I bought from Coinbase to this exact address.
It is also possible that you sent the coins directly from Coinbase to a deposit address on <insert exchange> and your deposit to this address was then collated by the exchange with other deposits that they had received. The online tax service that you used might now be detecting the other input addresses in this collation transaction as belonging to you.

I would suggest checking the addresses that are created from the master public key for your Ledger... see if you can find this address that has the 5000+ BTC. Chances are that you won't find it... as I suspect it is a flaw in tax service that you're using.

You could also try and connect your Ledger to Electrum and see what addresses/transactions it is able to find...

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March 09, 2019, 01:55:03 AM
Merited by bones261 (2)
 #11

-snip- I started to think as well that I don't actually own my key.   Yikes ...not ideal. 
-snip-
Based from this, I'm stating to think that you have been scammed or only know less than quarter about "being your own bank" or , aka. in control of the bitcoin wallet or owning the private key(s).
Because, if you do own the private key(s), at least you should be certain that you're the one who've created the wallet (file) and not imported from somewhere/someone else.
FYI, it's normal for a "watch-only" wallet to successfully receive coins, the problem is spending the inputs.

The scenario in the OP will not happen by any chance if those addresses weren't used by someone else or imported by yourself.
It highly unlikely that your address had a collision to an exchange's address (impossibility in a universal scale).

Please tell us what wallet is it and how it was created.

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March 17, 2019, 11:28:27 AM
 #12

Were you accepting funds from exchange wallets?
Sometimes when they send payments you can have 100's of inputs that show on explorer could it be it's picking up all the inputs to your wallet and thinking they were all to you and not just the output.

This might throw off some kinds of calculation software.
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