Bitmart, a crypto exchange that touts itself as “the most trusted cryptocurrency trading platform,” has lost $150 million in assets, according to a tweet by Bitmart CEO Sheldon Xia. Other reports have placed the value far higher at around $200 million. Bitmart operates in just about all countries around the world, according to its website (180+ countries). Bitmart is incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
1/3 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.
— Sheldon Xia (@sheldonbitmart) December 5, 2021
Bitmart claims over 9 million users facilitating trading in 800 plus cryptocurrencies.
Xia said that following the hack, BitMart has completed “initial security checks and identified affected assets.” This hack was said to be caused by a stolen private key that had two hot wallets compromised.
He noted that most digital assets are stored in cold wallets and remain safe on BitMart. Besides. Xia said they will work closely with law enforcement to solve the issue.
“We are tracking the hackers’ activities and doing our best to recover the stolen assets.”
Bitmart said that one of their ETH hot wallets and one of their BSC hot wallets were the targets of the breach.
The good news is that Xia said the company will use in house funds to cover the incident and compensate affected users.
“We are also talking to multiple project teams to confirm the most reasonable solutions such as token swaps. No user assets will be harmed.”
Deposit and withdrawal functions are expected to recommence tomorrow.
Of course, Bitmart is not the first crypto exchange to be the target of a cyber-attack and it will probably not be the last. The larger issue is the systemic problem of largely unregulated crypto exchanges and loose security protocols – something regulators are keenly monitoring.
Xia has scheduled an AMA on Telegram for later today to discuss the theft.
Our CEO @sheldonbitmart will conduct an AMA at 8PM EST Dec 6 on Telegram to share more info regarding the security breach, compensation arrangement, and how we plan to resume operation. We will strive to maintain transparency and your support to BitMart is highly appreciated. pic.twitter.com/83Q43W9aXf
— BitMart.Exchange (@BitMartExchange) December 6, 2021