Bitmart Hacked: Lost Over $196 Million

Key Takeaways:

  • Bitmart has lost $196 million in various cryptocurrencies in the latest centralized exchange hack.
  • PeckShield first noticed an excessive amount of outbound transfers.
  • Peckshield estimated the losses to be $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum chain and $96 million on the Binance Smart Chain.
Bitmart Hacked
Bitmart Hacked

Bitmart has lost $196 million in various cryptocurrencies in the latest centralized exchange hack, which may be among the most devastating to date. At 7.30 PM UTC, PeckShield first noticed an excessive amount of outbound transfers. It found that a range of tokens had been sent out of BitMart’s hot wallet, starting at 4.30 PM EST. These tokens included large amounts of meme tokens like Shiba (SHIB), plus half a million dollars in the stablecoin USDC. One of Bitmart’s addresses is currently showing steady outflows of entire token balances, some worth tens of millions of dollars, to an address labeled as the “Bitmart Hacker” by Etherscan.

Commentators have pointed out that funds have been removed from the Binance Smart Chain blockchain as well, which could increase the number of funds taken. The funds have been transferred to the Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash, making it more difficult to track them.

Bitmart Hacked
Bitmart Hacked

Peckshield estimated the losses to be $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum chain and $96 million on the Binance Smart Chain in a follow-up tweet. The hacker has been systematically using decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch to exchange stolen assets for cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and then depositing the ETH into privacy mixer Tornado Cash using a secondary address, making the hacked funds more difficult to track.

Bitmart representatives initially claimed in an official Telegram channel that the outflows were routine withdrawals, dismissing reports of the hack as “fake news.” Hours later, Bitmart CEO Sheldon Xia confirmed that the outflows were indeed the result of a “security breach.” 

Fake News
fake news

Sheldon Xia tweeted that “We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. The hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately USD 150 millions. The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carries a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress. At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation. Thank you very much”.

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Chaahat Girdhar

I'm Chaahat Girdhar, a journalist by profession who's turning her dreams into vision and vision into reality. I'm curious and have an appetite for gaining new knowledge. So I'm looking forward to learning things in the better way possible.