Japan’s cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid, has been hacked with a reported $74 million worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum and others being stolen.
Liquid, a regulated cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, has confirmed the breach that it said had forced it to suspend deposits and withdrawals.
While Liquid did not confirm the value of the currency taken, digital assets publication The Block put the estimated value of the cryptocurrency heist at $74 million.
In a tweet shared on Thursday, Liquid said its online warm wallets had been “compromised” and that it would be moving its assets to its offline “cold wallet.”
The exchange continued: “We are sorry to announce that #LiquidGlobal warm wallets were compromised, we are moving assets into the cold wallet. We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates. In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended.”
A second tweet stated that the following assets had been transferred to hacker’s following addresses:
- BTC: 1Fx1bhbCwp5LU2gHxfRNiSHi1QSHwZLf7q
- ETH/EWT: 0x5578840aae68682a9779623fa9e8714802b59946
- TRX: TSpcue3bDfZNTP1CutrRrDxRPeEvWhuXbp
- XRP: rfapBqj7rUkGju7oHTwBwhEyXgwkEM4yby
The investigation is ongoing, Liquid said.
According to its website, the exchange has more than 800,00 customers and its highest daily trade volume of 2021 was estimated to be in excess of $1.1 billion.
In the immediate aftermath of the hack, the value of multiple cryptocurrencies dropped, with Bitcoin alone falling from $45,194 late Wednesday night to a low of $44,206.
Liquid has faced online criticism over its handling of the hack.
Johnny Lyu, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, said in a tweet that he was aware of the hack and had since blacklisted the hacker’s wallet addresses.
In a quote tweet where he included Liquid’s statement, Lyu commented: “We are aware of the #LiquidGlobal security incident, and the hacker’s addresses have been added to the blacklist of #KuCoin. Hope everything is OK.”
One Twitter-user wrote underneath the exchange’s statement: “Wow. Way to report this hours after it happened. It’s not news if u are the last ones to apparently find out.”
Another wrote: “I thought most coins were on cold wallets? For an exchange that touts security as number one priority, I would be ashamed.”
Liquid has been contacted for comment.
The exchange’s parent company, Quoine, was founded in 2014 and it went on to become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-fiat exchange platforms and serves millions of customers around the globe.
In 2017, Liquid was granted a license from the Japan Financial Services Agency to operate as a virtual currency exchange.