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XRP Falls by More Than 5% After Ripple Exec Accounts Drained in $112 Million Hack

Last Updated February 1, 2024 1:50 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated February 1, 2024 1:50 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Multiple personal XRP accounts belonging to Ripple’s Chris Larsen were compromised in a hacking incident.
  • The breach has cast a shadow of doubt over the company’s security practices and has led to a 5% drop in the value of XRP.
  • ZachXBT was the first to uncover the unauthorized access and transfer of XRP tokens.

Ripple, a prominent player in the crypto payment sector, witnessed a 5% drop  in the value of its XRP token on Wednesday. This market reaction was spurred by concerns stemming from a reported security breach , potentially involving $112.5 million.

Blockchain expert ZachXBT  was the first to bring this incident to light, uncovering the unauthorized access and transfer of 213 million XRP tokens.

Exec’s XRP Accounts Hacked, Company Wallets Unaffected

Recently, Ripple’s executive chairman and co-founder, Chris Larsen, disclosed  that multiple personal XRP accounts belonging to him were compromised in a hacking incident on January 31.

Following the security breach, Larsen emphasized that the hack was an “isolated incident,” assuring that Ripple’s wallets remain secure and unaffected by the intrusion.

Echoing this sentiment, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse also commented , reinforcing the message of security and integrity within the company’s systems.

Thomas Silkjær, who leads Analytics and Compliance at the XRP Ledger Foundation, shed more light on the situation. He recounted  that the crypto exchange WhiteBit raised an alarm  about unusual deposit activities on January 30. Following this alert, Silkjær’s team promptly notified Larsen about the potential breach and commenced collaborative efforts in the investigative process.

Stolen XRP Valued at $112 Million in High-Profile Crypto Heist

ZachXBT also highlighted  that the pilfered funds have been channeled through multiple exchanges, including MEXC, Gate, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC, indicating a sophisticated laundering operation.

The investigation led by ZachXBT suggests a breach in Larsen’s private keys, although specific details about the breach’s nature remain undisclosed.

Initially, ZachXBT insinuated  that Ripple itself had been the target of the attack. However, after Larsen publicly clarified the situation, ZachXBT made a pointed remark, sarcastically downplaying the distinction between Larsen’s personal holdings and Ripple’s corporate assets, implying a blurred line between the two entities.

This insinuation echoes past scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which had previously accused Larsen and Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse of possessing a substantial amount of XRP early on and partaking in unauthorized personal token sales alongside Ripple’s corporate transactions.

However, in a significant turn of events in 2023, the SEC withdrew all allegations against the executives, and Ripple was exonerated from related charges, marking a pivotal moment in the company’s legal journey.

XRP’s Market Value Dips 5% Amid Security Concerns

In the aftermath of the recent security breach, XRP experienced a notable 5% decrease in its market value within a 24-hour span, with its price falling from 0.5081 to 0.4955.

The cryptocurrency has since adjusted slightly, currently trading at 0.494. Coinmarketcap  has documented this downturn, noting a parallel 5% shrinkage in market capitalization, now standing at $27,437,885,373.

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