Ripple’s co-founder confirms $113m theft, XRP down 5%

On-chain sleuth ZachXBT noted 213 million XRP tokens moved through almost a dozen addresses to centralized exchanges in an apparent Ripple hack.

The XRP tokens worth roughly $112.5 million started moving on Jan. 30 before being laundered on platforms like Binance, Gate, HTX, HitBTC, Kraken, and OKX, according to ZachXBT’s investigation. 

Shortly after ZachXBT reported the incident, Ripple co-founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen said there was unauthorized access to some of his personal XRP accounts. 

Larsen stressed that the tokens were not controlled by Ripple as a company, adding that exchanges and law enforcement had been informed about what may be a hack.

Yesterday, there was unauthorized access to a few of my personal XRP accounts (not ) – we were quickly able to catch the problem and notify exchanges to freeze the affected addresses. Law enforcement is already involved. — Chris Larsen (@chrislarsensf)

XRP hack or insider dumping?

However, some social media observers espoused skepticism about the supposed theft and speculated why Ripple or Larsen did not flag the transactions until ZachXBT shared his findings with the public. 

Kirill Tiufanov, founder of web3 security startup Polyzoa, highlighted delays in transaction execution during the XRP outflows. Speaking with crypto.news, Tiufanov cited the on-chain timestamps, which showed the funds were moved over a 10-hour period. 

The web3 security expert said delayed transactions also suggested manual input rather than an automated script or smart contract typically employed by crypto hackers and wallet drainers. Coinbase director Conor Grogan similar comments, noting that the activity was odd.

The dumbest hacker would never send to CEXes and wait 10+ hours to withdraw funds.

Kirill Tiufanov, Polyzoa founder

Might be the hacker making an educated guess that the risk of the funds getting flagged and rotated were worth it; smaller txs out mean lower chance that an exchange flags them as obviously stolen, so they can mix a higher % than they would otherwise

— Conor (@jconorgrogan)

XRP’s market price reacted to the news with a 5% drop per CoinMarketCap. The token fell as low as 49 cents. XRP’s trading volume also skyrocketed more than 85% while its market cap dropped over 4%.

Ripple’s co-founder confirms $113m theft, XRP down 5%

The event joins many suspicious activities tied to crypto-native personalities and entities. Criminals have stolen tens of millions of dollars in digital assets from web3 operators and compromised several social media pages belonging to platforms like CoinGecko.

This comes after North Korea’s Lazarus group siphoned $600 million last year, a third of all hacks and thefts in 2023. Despite this staggering amount, Chainalysis reported a 39% drop in crypto received by bad actors and cybercriminals.

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2024-01-31 19:22