Crypto Exchange AscendEX Hacked, Losses Estimated at $77M

Assets not affected have been transferred to cold wallets while the investigation is carried out, the exchange said.

Dec 13, 2021 at 10:58 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 14, 2021 at 5:02 a.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchange AscendEX suffered a hack for an estimated $77 million following a breach of one its hot wallets.

  • On Sunday, AscendEX announced via Twitter that it had identified a number of unauthorized transactions from one of its hot wallets on Saturday.
  • Assets not affected have been transferred to cold wallets while the investigation is carried out, the exchange added.
  • AscendEX said it will fully reimburse all impacted users and is working with law enforcement and forensic firms to find the stolen assets.
  • Blockchain analytics firm PeckShield estimated that the stolen funds amounted to $77 million spread across three chains: Ethereum ($60 million), Binance Smart Chain ($9.2 million) and Polygon ($8.5 million).
  • The largest share of the $77 million was accounted for by the relatively minor taraxa (TARA) with $10.8 million, while the combined shares of stablecoins USDT and USDC accounted for $10.7 million.
  • The Singapore-based exchange, which was formerly known as BitMax, claims to serve one million institutional and retail clients. It recently raised a $50 million Series B led by Polychain Capital and Hack VC.

UPDATE (Dec. 14, 05:02): Adds reimbursement information in third bullet.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.