Crypto exchange AscendEX hacked for $78 million in latest swindle

Quick Take

  • Crypto exchange AscendEX has said that its hot wallet was breached.
  • Security researchers PeckShield estimate the losses at $77.7 million.

Crypto exchange AscendEX — formerly known as BitMax — has been hacked for an estimated $77.7 million. That's according to the exchange, which acknowledged the hack, and security researchers PeckShield who have estimated its losses.

"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," tweeted the exchange.

According to PeckShield, the assets were taken across three blockchains. The exchange lost $60 million on Ethereum, $9.2 million on Binance Smart Chain and $8.5 million on Polygon (formerly Matic).

Tokens taken included large chunks of stablecoins — both tether (USDT) and USD coin (USDC) — along with larger sums of less well-known tokens like taraxa (TARA) and smaller sums of more well-known tokens like shiba inu (SHIB), aave (AAVE) and compound (COMP).


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The exchange has frozen deposits and withdrawals and is working to reopen them, according to Jay Kubert, director of sales and business development at AscendEX.

This comes just one week after crypto exchange BitMart was hacked for $200 million. It lost assets on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, which were sent on to Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash.

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About Author

Tim is the Editor-In-Chief of The Block. Prior to joining The Block, Tim was a news editor at Decrypt. He has earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of York and studied news journalism at Press Association Training. Follow him on X @Timccopeland.