Meet FatManTerra: The Twitter person serving to deliver Terra’s Do Kwon to justice


The crypto world was despatched reeling in May when the Terra stablecoin and sister coin Luna collapsed to close zero, wiping out $50 billion in worth and spreading contagion by means of the business. Investors have been left offended and trying to blame one thing—or somebody—however the forces behind the crash have been onerous to discern.

In an business missing significant regulation and company transparency, these mysteries usually go unsolved. In the case of Terra, nonetheless, an nameless sleuth who calls himself FatManTerra took to Twitter and helped expose what transpired—together with dodgy conduct by the token’s founder, Do Kwon, who’s at the moment the topic of an Interpol warrant and a world manhunt. 

FatManTerra is the simply newest in a sequence of nameless Twitter watchdogs—others embody ZachXBT, BitFinexed, and Cobie (who has since revealed his identification)—who’re serving to to show unsavory conduct and produce accountability to the business. Fortune spoke to FatManTerra about when this began, who he’s, and the way he does it.

Who is FatManTerra?

Fortune reached out to the nameless sleuth through Twitter direct message, inviting him to elucidate his investigation into Terra. After a number of messages forwards and backwards, he agreed to talk by Zoom offered his digital camera might stay off.

In the interview, FatManTerra described himself as an “average middle-class guy” between 20 and 35 years outdated who lives within the U.Ok. and who’s labored within the crypto business as a venture supervisor for a while. He mentioned his present employer is conscious of the account and has even allowed him to work fewer hours so he can commit extra time to it.

He defined he had invested closely within the Terra ecosystem, and misplaced 30% to 40% of his life financial savings within the collapse. Since the creation of the account, the one fee he’s acquired is a meals supply voucher value 60 kilos, which he promptly blew on a pineapple pizza and a few sushi.

“Someone wanted to send me money, which I don’t normally accept, but they insisted so I told them they could send me a Deliveroo gift card…because I love food,” FatManTerra defined.

This love of meals is essentially what impressed his Twitter deal with.

“It was meant to be a throwaway account, so I made it have a silly name that my friends can laugh at. ‘FatMan’ because I’m a fat man, right?” he instructed Fortune. “Some people find it surprising that I’m actually 150 kilograms,” or about 330 kilos.

Origin story

FatManTerra first used the pseudonym on the Terra discussion board, Agora, to propose a way of improving the Terra blockchain. The proposal began to realize traction so he created a Twitter account with the identical title.

For a time period, he’d merely tweet his opinions on Terra, principally criticizing Kwon. Low-level whistleblowers began to method him with tales as he gained a small Twitter following, however he stored these tricks to himself—till an worker from buying and selling agency Jump Crypto approached FatManTerra with an explosive allegation.

This particular person claimed that Jump bailed out Terra in May 2021 as a way to prop up Terra’s slowly failing enterprise mannequin, which relied on monetary engineering gimmicks moderately than precise reserves to again its stablecoin. FatManTerra tweeted the allegations and commented that this was “likely to be the biggest crypto fraud of all time.”

The thread blew up, and FatManTerra’s follower rely jumped from 14,000 to 56,000 in every week. It additionally served as a beacon to the world of crypto that he might be trusted to show Terra’s soiled secrets and techniques.

Other suggestions poured in, permitting FatManTerra to show different deceptions underlying Terra, together with fraudulent Chai market volume and Kwon quietly cashing out $3.9 billion value of the stablecoin earlier than it collapsed completely.

‘One dude in his room’

As a results of the account blowing up, FatManTerra began receiving as much as 5 direct messages a day from folks claiming to be whistleblowers. These folks wished to stay nameless and probably noticed part of themselves on this faceless Twitter account.

“My theory [of why people reached out] is that they know I’m just one guy who isn’t backed by any force, nor am I associated with any news sites,” FatManTerra instructed Fortune. “I don’t have any editor to talk to, I’m not funded by some exchange, I’m literally just one dude in his room.”

This lack of a proper journalistic construction has enabled FatManTerra, however could also be additionally a trigger for concern. Most journalists and publications have a excessive customary for verification when whistleblowers method them due to the specter of authorized motion and reputational hurt. This is much less of a problem for nameless Twitter accounts.

“In the early days, I just rolled with it. If a guy messaged me, I’d check their LinkedIn to make sure he’s legit. The stories were very detailed, accurate, and matched up with what I already knew,” FatManTerra mentioned. “But as time went on, I had to create a vetting process. Now I need to see that you’re a doxxed, verified employee. And, if you tell me something crazy, I have to personally believe it to be true and have it cross-referenced by two or three different sources.”

As the weeks handed and he heard from extra whistleblowers, FatManTerra began to really feel that working the Twitter account was an ethical obligation—it was now not about simply his private losses.

“In crypto, we preach about transparency, but many of these companies are really quite opaque. It’s important that people from these companies come forward to expose any wrongdoings,” he mentioned. “A lot of ex-employees are scared for their lives when it comes to going public with their information. They are very afraid because they see Do Kwon as a genuine psychopath.”

At the height of FatManTerra’s Twitter reputation, he says paranoia began to set in and he didn’t go away his home for 3 to 4 weeks, fearing he might be focused for reprisal. He has since determined such fears have been overblown, however he nonetheless doesn’t need to run the account perpetually.

“Once Do Kwon is brought to justice and there is some sort of satisfying resolution to all of this, I’m definitely going to be posting much less and focus on real-life stuff,” FatManTerra mentioned. “I need to return to the real world.”

“Once Do Kwon is brought to justice and there is some sort of satisfying resolution to all of this, I’m definitely going to be posting much less and focus on real-life stuff,” FatManTerra mentioned. “I need to return to the real world.”

Multiple lawsuits are within the works in opposition to Kwon—there’s even an arrest warrant for him in South Korea—and FatManTerra is enjoying a job in a few of these lawsuits within the U.S. and in Singapore.

“I’m trying to help out the evidence side as much as possible,” FatManTerra instructed Fortune. “I will be a plaintiff on a couple of the lawsuits, which will require my real name—but I’ll be blending in with the crowd, pretty much.”

Kwon, in a mid-September Twitter thread, denied that he was “‘on the run’ or anything similar,” including that “any government agency that has shown interest to communicate, we are in full cooperation and we don’t have anything to hide.”

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