In brief

  • KuCoin has been hacked for at least $150 million.
  • KuCoin's CEO said that this is a "small part of our total asset holdings".
  • Tether and Bitfinex froze some of the stolen funds.

The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin today responded to questions about a hack that resulted in at least $150 million of Ethereum tokens being drained from the exchange’s wallets, as well as millions more from other blockchains, including $13 million from Tether based on the EOS blockchain. 

In a livestream early this morning, KuCoin Global CEO Johnny Lyu said that hackers mostly stole Bitcoin, Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens (tokens based on the Ethereum token standard), but it is still “working on the list” and “evaluating the total value.” 

According to a summary of the livestream posted on KuCoin’s website, Lyu said that the stolen funds “contains a small part of our total asset holdings,” and that the team estimates that deposits and withdrawals will be live within a week.

He also said that KuCoin’s insurance fund, started in 2018, is sufficiently large to cover for the hack. To avoid future issues of this ilk, Lyu said that the team has discarded the affected hot wallets (wallets connected to the exchanges) and “will definitely upgrade the whole risk management system of our wallet.”

And those funds flowing out from KuCoin following its announcement of the hack? “For the sake of guaranteeing the security of users’ assets, our wallet and security teams are conducting those transactions," said Lyu.

Rich Sanders, CEO of blockchain forensics firm CipherBlade, traced some of KuCoin's funds to a potential wallet containing 7,500 Bitcoin ($80 million). 

KuCoin is now busy working with the blockchain projects and cryptocurrency projects that received the stolen funds, to “track, block, and even fork related assets to cut the losses.”

Paolo Ardoinio, CTO at cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin company Tether, said in a tweet that Bitfinex froze $13 million worth of Tether stablecoins hosted on the EOS blockchain, and that Tether froze a further $20 million worth of the stablecoin hosted on Ethereum.