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AscendEX Exchange Loses $77.7M in Latest Crypto Hack

AscendEX has promised that impacted users will be fully refunded.

AscendEX Exchange Loses $77.7M in Latest Crypto Hack
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Key Takeaways

  • On Sunday, centralized crypto exchange AscendEX revealed that its hot wallet has been compromised.
  • Security firm PeckShield estimated the value of the stolen assets to be worth around $77.7 million.
  • The exchange has promised to fully compensate all affected users.

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The AscendEX crypto exchange was hacked for $77.7 million due to a compromised hot wallet.

AscendEX Will Compensate Affected Users

Singapore-based AscendEX was hacked. 

On Saturday, centralized crypto exchange AscendEX reported that a significant sum of crypto tokens was illegitimately transferred from its platform. The exchange revealed in a Twitter thread that, on December 11 at about 22:00 UTC, “a number of unauthorized transfers” were made by an unknown entity from its hot wallet.

It further informed that while its hot wallet was compromised, its cold storage or offline wallets remained unaffected. The platform did not officially disclose the total sum of money stolen during the attack.

PeckShield, a renowned smart contracts auditing firm, estimated that $77.7 million in various assets were stolen during the hack. Per its on-chain analysis, the hacker transferred funds to three blockchains: $60 million worth of tokens were sent to Ethereum, $9.2 million to Binance Smart Chain, and $8.5 million to Polygon. 

The AscendEX incident is the third major attack targeting centralized exchanges in the last six months. Last week, BitMart, another centralized exchange, lost $196 million in crypto assets in a similar incident. In August, Japanese crypto exchange Liquid also reported losing about $97 million due to a compromised hot wallet. 

The platform has assured that “any impacted users will be compensated 100%.” AscendEX is now working with blockchain analytics firms, exchanges, and law enforcement to monitor the transferred assets. In response to the incident, AscendEX CEO George Cao will be hosting an Ask Me Anything discussion on Twitter Spaces today at 16:00 UTC. 

In November, Ascendex raised $50 million during a Series B funding round from top crypto venture capital firms, including Polychain Capital, Jump Capital, and Alameda Research.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and other cryptocurrencies.

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