Tether, a start-up that offers dollar-backed digital tokens, claimed on Monday that its systems had been hacked and that about US$31 million worth of tokens were stolen.
In a statement posted on its website, the company said funds were “improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker” on Sunday and “sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address”.
Tether said it has flagged the tokens and is attempting to recover them to prevent the units from entering the broader cryptocurrency market. For partners, the back-end wallet service has been suspended.
The company is rolling out an update to Omni Core – its software for partners – that will prevent the stolen coins from recirculating into its ecosystem by essentially locking them into the alleged hacker’s wallet, enacting an emergency fork to contain the funds, TechCrunch reports.
Tether operates USDT, a cryptocurrency asset that it backs with the US dollar. The company said US$30,950,010 worth of USDT was stolen.
Bitcoin cruised past US$8,000 for the first time this week, but it briefly took a dip Monday evening before recovering within hours. As of 9:18 am Hong Kong time on Wednesday, bitcoin’s value stood at US$8,098, according to Coindesk.
Tether aims to serve as a proxy for the US dollar that can be sent between exchanges including Bitfinex, Poloniex and other markets to settle balances.
Shortly after the hacking news, exchanges including China-based Huobi and OKCoin took steps to freeze trading.
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