BitMart CEO Pledges Pocket Refunds After $ 196 Million Crypto Theft

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Bitmart chief executive Sheldon Xia said on December 6 that the exchange would use its own money to repay the $ 196 million in crypto assets lost in an attack over the weekend.

In a update On Twitter, Xia said the Cayman Islands-registered cryptocurrency trading platform “will use our own funding to cover the incident and compensate affected users.” He did not say whether users will be reimbursed in full or in part.

“We are also discussing with several project teams to confirm the most reasonable solutions such as token swaps. No user assets will be damaged, ”Xia added.

Saitama immediately responded, committing to “work together to help solve the problem”. Huobi also showed his willingness to help.

Thieves Steal $ 196 Million In Crypto

Hackers seized a total of $ 196 million in digital assets from BitMart on December 4, according to blockchain and data analytics firm Peckshield. Confirming the theft, Xia initially estimated the extent of the loss at $ 150 million.

Cybercriminals looted two of the exchange’s hot wallets – the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain wallets – by stealing around 20 tokens, including Binance Coin, Saitama, Floki Inu, BabyDoge, and Shiba Inu.

Hot wallets are active digital asset accounts connected to the internet. The exchanges use these wallets to facilitate daily trading activities on their platforms. However, hot wallets tend to be prone to hacking due to their connection to the Internet.

After withdrawing the funds from BitMart, the hackers exchanged the stolen tokens for Ethereum (ETH) on the decentralized 1-inch exchange. Eventually, ETH moved into Tornado Cash, a coin-shuffling platform that makes stolen assets difficult to trace.

BitMart hacks the result of stolen private keys

According to Xia, the CEO of BtiMart, the security breach results from the theft of the private keys of the two hot wallets in question.

“BitMart has completed the initial security checks and identified the affected assets,” Xia said in a brief but quick update on the hack.

This security breach was mainly caused by a stolen private key that compromised two of our hot wallets. Other assets with BitMart are safe and unharmed.

Xia added that “we are now doing our best to recover the security configurations and our operation.” He called for calm and pleaded with users for “your kind understanding” as the stock exchange, which has offices in New York, China, Hong Kong and Seoul, tries to tidy up its house.

Deposits and withdrawals, which had been suspended following the hack, are expected to begin “gradually” on December 7. The exchange will announce a timeline for this at a later date.

The BitMart hack follows the theft of $ 120 million on BadgerDAO. BitMart is one of the world’s leading centralized crypto exchanges by volume, according to data from CoinGecko. The exchange has an average of nine million users.

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