Hackers have taken $196 million from crypto trading platform Bitmart, a security firm said Saturday.
Bitmart confirmed the hack in an official statement Saturday night, calling it “a large-scale security breach” and writing that hackers withdrew about $150 million in assets. However, blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield estimates that the loss is closer to $200 million.
Bitmart added in a statement that all withdrawals had been temporarily suspended until further notice and said a thorough security review was underway.
Peckshield was the first to notice the breach on Saturday, noting that one of Bitmart’s addresses showed a steady outflow of tens of millions of dollars to an address which Etherscan referred to as the “Bitmart Hacker.”
Peckshield estimated that Bitmart lost around $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the ethereum blockchain and another $96 million from coins on the binance smart chain. The hackers made off with a mix of more than 20 tokens, including binance coin, safemoon, and shiba inu.
Bitmart says that the affected ethereum and binance smart chain “hot wallets” carried only a “small percentage” of the exchange’s assets. The statement went on to say that all other wallets were “secure and unharmed.”
People who choose to hold their own cryptocurrency can store it “hot,” “cold,” or some combination of the two. A hot wallet is connected to the internet and allows owners relatively easy access to their coins so that they can access and spend their crypto. The trade-off for convenience is potential exposure to bad actors.
CNBC reached out to multiple Bitmart employees to ask for more clarity on the hack, including whether customer funds had specifically been targeted in the breach, and if so, whether users would be reimbursed. CNBC has not yet heard back, but an email to the work address of Bitmart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia (as listed on Xia’s unverified Twitter account) bounced back with a message that read, “Recipient address rejected: Access denied.”
Bitmart, which offers a mix of spot transactions, leveraged futures trading, as well as lending and staking services, typically ranks as one of the top centralized crypto exchanges by volume,…