Twenty two year-old hacker Jimmy Zhong said he never meant to become a criminal billionaire. But that’s what happened in 2012 after he found a way to steal bitcoin from the Silk Road – a dark web exchange then known for some of the most unsavory trade on the internet – drugs, guns and porn. Over the next decade, the coins Zhong stole rocketed in value, ultimately reaching an eye-watering $3.36 billion.
Photos show Zhong on yachts, in front of airplanes, and at big time football games over the decade he confounded law enforcement officers trying to solve the theft. He even bought a weekend lake house to use as a party pad, and decorated it with a giant Trump flag and a stripper pole. But then, Zhong made a phone call that ruined his life.
In this documentary, CNBC’s Eamon Javers speaks exclusively with the IRS-CI, the agency that investigated this billion dollar crime as well as the people who knew Zhong during the decade he evaded law enforcement. Javers’ reporting also uncovers a long, digital trail that leads back to the earliest days of bitcoin and reveals a dark truth about the world of hackers and coders responsible for the creation of bitcoin.
00:00 — Introduction
01:18 — Panic Attack
10:28 — The Raid
20:09 — Original Gangster
Correspondent: Eamon Javers
Investigative Producer: Paige Tortorelli
Senior Investigative Producer: Scott Zamost
Senior Field Producer: Bria Cousins
Senior Executive Producer: Ray Parisi
Editor: Candice Goldman
Graphic Artist: Michael Schwartz
Photojournalists: Oscar Molina, Marco Mastrorilli, Alex Herrera, Gerard Miller, Leroy Jackson, David Grogan, Tara McCurrie, and Alex Bedoya
Audio: Juan Merlo, Everette Wong, Peter Redding, and Francesco LoCascio
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How To Steal And Lose More Than $3 Billion In Bitcoin | CNBC Documentary