hack bitmart SHIB USDC

Crypto Exchange Bitmart Loses $196m Meme Coin to Hackers

hack bitmart SHIB USDC
Hacker alert! Cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart loses $196 million in memecoins to hackers. Stolen funds include a large amount of meme tokens including SHIB, KISHU, and FLOKI, according to blockchain security firm PeckShield.

Amid the crypto market downturn, multiple attacks occurred in exchanges and DeFi platforms. The Bitmart hack comes after another hacking incident on DeFi platform BadgerDAO. According to PeckShield, the hackers stole $196 million worth of crypto. That includes $100 million tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and the remaining on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) chain.

Stolen funds involve multiple meme coins. These include SHIB, FLOKI, KISHU, SAFEMOON, BABYDOGE, AKITA, GALA, Crypto.com coin CRO, BSC Coin BNB, and US stablecoin USDC.

At first, an administrator of Bitmart’s Telegram channel denied the news. Later, Bitmart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia, confirmed the attack. Yet, he emphasized that the assets that the hackers could access were only US$150 million.

Bitmart stated that the “hot wallets” hacked account for a small share of the exchange’s total assets. It emphasized that all other wallets are safe and secure.

Bitmart Reports Hot Wallet Hack

The so-called “hot wallet“, also known as software wallet, is basically a wallet application connected to the cloud. Different from “cold wallets” — hardware wallets, software wallets facilitate users’ crypto transactions via online platforms.

However, because software wallets of exchanges hold a large amount of crypto assets from its customers, they become the easy target of hackers. Previously, Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, and nowadays leading exchange Binance, had been attacked by hackers, incurring huge loss of customers’ assets.

Regarding this Bitmart hack, PeckShield believes the hackers used decentralized exchange 1inch to convert the stolen funds into ether (ETH). Then, hackers used privacy trading tool Tornado Cash to mix transactions, making it difficult for fund tracing. In 2020, hackers attacked crypto exchange KuCoin and stole $270 million, which also used Tornado Cash to transfer the funds.

Interestingly, on 30 Nov, Bitmart reportedly completed a funding round with a valuation of $300 million. Alexander Capital, a private equity fund in New York led the round.

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