Ripple “Hack” Results in Loss of Over $112M Worth of XRP Tokens from Cofounder’s Wallet

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  • Chris Larsen announced that hackers had stolen approximately $112 million worth of XRP from his personal crypto wallets.
  • ZachXBT revealed that the stolen XRP funds had been laundered through various crypto exchanges and platforms, including Binance and Kraken.
  • The market response to the news was immediate, with XRP experiencing a 4% drop in value on the day, according to CoinMarketCap data.

In a startling revelation on Tuesday, Ripple’s co-founder and executive chairman, Chris Larsen, announced that hackers had stolen approximately $112 million worth of the Ripple-focused cryptocurrency, XRP, from his personal crypto wallets. The disclosure comes amid growing concerns about the security of digital assets and highlights the vulnerability of even high-profile figures in the crypto space.

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Details of the $112M Hack

Larsen took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday to share the unfortunate incident. “There was unauthorized access to a few of my personal XRP accounts (not Ripple) — we were quickly able to catch the problem and notify exchanges to freeze the affected addresses. Law enforcement is already involved,” the post read.

The news broke less than an hour after crypto security researcher ZachXBT reported the hack on X. ZachXBT revealed that the stolen XRP funds had been laundered through various crypto exchanges and platforms, including Binance and Kraken. Both exchanges confirmed their awareness of the incident and are actively supporting the ongoing investigation.

The details surrounding the ownership and control of the hacked wallet remain unclear. On-chain data from XRPScan indicates that the compromised wallet was named “Ripple (50)” and was activated by a separate wallet called “~FundingWallet1” on November 5, 2018. ~FundingWallet1, in turn, was activated by Larsen’s account on February 6, 2013, approximately a month after his own account, ~chrislarsen, was created.

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Impact and Aftermath

Ripple, the company behind the XRP cryptocurrency, issued a statement through spokesperson Stacey Ngo, stating that “Ripple was not impacted” by the breach.

The market response to the news was immediate, with XRP experiencing a 4% drop in value on the day, according to CoinMarketCap data. The token, with a market capitalization of $27.4 billion, remains a significant player in the cryptocurrency space.

This incident marks the largest cryptocurrency theft in 2024 so far and the twentieth largest in recorded history, as reported by Rekt, a website tracking web3 and crypto breaches. In 2023, hackers pilfered approximately $2 billion in cryptocurrency, according to cybersecurity firms monitoring such attacks.

In the aftermath of the hack, some XRP holders are calling for greater transparency within the Ripple community. Calls to disclose co-founders’ crypto wallets and XRP holdings have gained traction, with advocates emphasizing the need for accountability to safeguard the interests of investors. Meanwhile, voices like Thinking Crypto podcast host Tony Edward are urging Chris Larsen to “distance himself from Ripple as much as possible.”

As investigations unfold, the cryptocurrency community awaits further developments and potential security measures to prevent such incidents in the future. The heist serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges facing the digital asset space and the imperative for robust security measures.

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