Japanese Crypto Exchange, Liquid, was hit earlier this week by hackers who stole an estimated $97 Million in crypto.
Founded in 2014, Liquid operates in over 100 countries and serves millions of customers around the world. According to CoinMarketCap data, the Japanese exchange ranks among the top 20 crypto exchanges globally by daily trading volumes.
The Liquid Hack
In a tweet posted on Thursday, the exchange announced the compromise and said it is moving assets that were not affected into more secure “cold wallet” storage. “We are sorry to announce that #LiquidGlobal warm wallets were compromised, we are moving assets into the cold wallet. We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates. In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended.”
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The company did not give an exact value of the amount lost. However, Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic carried out an analysis. The company evaluated that around $97m in cryptocurrencies had been taken, with more than half of it in Ethereum tokens. “This includes $45 million in Ethereum tokens, which are being converted into Ether using decentralized exchanges (DEXs) such as Uniswap and SushiSwap. This enables the hacker to avoid having these assets frozen – as is possible with many Ethereum tokens.” Other cryptos taken in the heist include Bitcoin, XRP, and stablecoins.
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The Japanese exchange has so far given three updates on its blog regarding the incident. On Friday, the company announced that it was working to tighten its security. And that by next week, it would be back to normal operations. “The team is continuing to conduct thorough security scans and tests over the next couple of days, and we expect to restore all services early next week,” said Liquid.
In their latest update today, the exchange said, “We have completed setting up our new MPC infrastructure with heightened security, and are now in the process of testing and migrating our assets to the new secure vaults.” They also mentioned that they will continue to work with the appropriate authorities and take the necessary action required.
Similar Exchange And Digital Platform Heists
This is the second major crypto heist to take place in a little over a week. In a similar event, on August 10, hackers stole more than $600 million of digital tokens from Poly Network. However, the hacker, Mr. White Hat opened a dialogue with the organization they attacked and returned almost all of the funds.
Liquid is not the only Japanese cryptocurrency exchange to be hit by a major heist. In 2014, Tokyo-based exchange MtGox collapsed after almost half a billion dollars of bitcoin went missing. Coincheck, another Tokyo-based exchange, was hacked in a $530m heist in 2018.
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