Cryptopia Lost $16 Million in Hack against Reported $2.5 Million: NY’s Elementus

Jan 24, 2019 at 16:30 Update Date :Jan 24, 2019 at 16:30 UTC

A new report suggests that the recent hacking of New Zealand-based crypto exchange, Cryptopia, cost the firm an estimated $16 million in losses against the initial pegged figure of $2.5 million, as reported by Altcoinera. The findings have come into focus after an analysis by Elementus, a New York blockchain company.

Cryptopia, based in Christchurch, is one of New Zealand’s few altcoin exchanges, presumably offering crypto trading in around 500 different types of altcoins.

The New Zealand police investigating the case said it was too early for them to draw any conclusions and they would keep an open mind on all possibilities while they gather the information required – even Cryptopia being a suspect in the hacking of their own exchange- cannot be ruled out at this stage.

Police got word last week, after Cryptopia announced that it’s digital security measures had been breached by hackers, that there might have been unauthorized transaction activity during the hack. The firm also declared to have suffered significant losses, a reported $2.5 million at that time.

Elementus have claimed that the transaction history on the Ethereum blockchain suggests that funds from Cryptopia’s wallets – containing ETH tokens and other tokens – were taken by hackers. The New York funds have stated that ETH worth US$3.6m, nearly US$2.4m of Dentacoin, almost US$2m in Oyster Pearl, and around US$3m in various other cryptocurrencies.

Max Galka, an Elemuntus Analyst, said in his blog:

“The funds were taken from more than 76,000 different wallets, none of which were smart contracts. The thieves must have gained access to not one private key, but thousands of them.”

Cryptopia, as of now, has suspended all trading activities associated with its platform and announced on Jan.15 that the exchange would henceforth remain under maintenance until the authorities concerned have completed their investigations.

NZ police source said:

“The investigation is expected to take some time to complete, and the digital forensic team will be on-site at Cryptopia’s premises for some days to come.” 

In a notice issued by the police, the “priority for police is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers; however there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this.”

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