Crypto Exchange AscendEX Loses Over $77M in Latest Hack

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Crypto Exchange AscendEX Loses Over $77M in Latest Hack
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As AscendEX lost nearly $78 million, it promises 100% compensation to all the affected users. It also promises of working with blockchain security firms and law enforcement agencies for the same.

Cryptocurrency exchange AscendEX, formerly BitMax, has been the latest victim to a hack losing close to $78 million in this entire incident. This is yet another case of a hot wallet exploit by hackers. Blockchain security firm Peckshield was the first to report about the hack.

It noted that out of the $77.7 million in losses, it lost $60 million on Ethereum, $9.2 million on BSC, and the rest $8.5 million on Polygon.

Furthermore, crypto exchange AscendEX also admitted being a victim of the hack. Early estimates show that the exchange has lost funds worth around $80 million. In its tweet on Sunday, December 12, the exchange noted:

We have detected a number of ERC-20, BSC, and Polygon tokens transferred from our hot wallet. Cold Wallet is NOT affected. Investigation underway. If any user’s funds are affected by the incident, they will be covered completely by AscendEX.

AscendEX also noted that it had initiated security soon after finding about the hack. Furthermore, the cold wallets are entirely secure and unaffected.

As per Peckshield, the stolen tokens include a large number of stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). Besides, it also includes some of the other well-known tokens like Shiba Inu (SHIB), Aave (AAVE) and Compound (COMP).

AscendEX Adopts a FourFold Approach to Deal with the Hack

In its subsequent tweets, AscendEX said that it will adopt a fourfold approach to deal with the issue of this hack.

  1. The first approach involves a 100% reimbursement to all users affected. It adds that the impacted assets are relatively small compared to the exchange’s total holdings. Unimpacted assets have been transferred to the cold wallets.
  2. The second step will be collaborating with blockchain forensic firms and law enforcement. AscendEX will be working along with these stakeholders to monitor the transferred assets. It will also get in touch with other centralized exchanges (CEXs) to blacklist all wallets associated with the incident.
  3. The third step will be working with impacted projects to potential damages done to any communities. “Contract permitting, impacted projects have been encouraged to freeze transfers. Many projects are exploring the possibility of reissuing tokens to users,” it further added.
  4. The fourth step shall be restoring deposits and withdrawal services while ensuring a safe state. Post a security review, AscendEX will reopen the platform allowing the users to safely transfer their funds.

AscendEX further added that it will be in communication with all stakeholders to reach a solution to this incident.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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