Several crypto accounts of Chris Larsen, executive chairman and co-founder of Ripple, have been hacked with an estimated theft of $112 million. This was reported by Chris Larsen in a post on X:
“Yesterday, there was unauthorized access to a few of my personal XRP accounts (not Ripple) – we were quickly able to catch the problem and notify exchanges to freeze the affected addresses. Law enforcement is already involved.”
Larsen assured that the self-reported “isolated incident” had not compromised Ripple’s wallets, targeting only personal accounts belonging to him. The statement was later confirmed by Brad Garlinghouse, Chief Executive Officer at Ripple. On his X page, he stated:
Given some irresponsible speculation and reporting, I want to reiterate that NO Ripple-managed wallets were compromised. Full stop. https://t.co/zxVeCH1Ut0
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) January 31, 2024
“Given some irresponsible speculation and reporting, I want to reiterate that NO Ripple-managed wallets were compromised. Full stop.”
Further clarity was provided by Thomas Silkjær, Head of Analytics and Compliance at the XRP Ledger Foundation. According to his post on X, the crypto exchange WhiteBIT warned the company about suspicious activity on the accounts. The sharpness of the exchange’s AML department spurred Ripple to kick in the investigation, the details of which remain undisclosed.
We received a tip yesterday from WhiteBIT of suspicious deposits, which led to the unraveling of a huge network of accounts involved in this case. We alerted Chris as soon as we realized what was going on and have worked tirelessly for the past 18+ hours, collaborating with our good friends at GateHub (Ziga Karic). (…) I can however reiterate (as usual) that some exchanges are much more responsive than others. Thanks for the collaboration.
XRP Theft Rate Counts Up To $112 million
While the investigation outcomes remain non-disclosed, the fact of hacking has been previously reported by on-chain analyst Zach XBT, claiming that the Ripple wallets have been hacked for 213 million XRP, equivalent to $112.5 million.
His initial suggestion was later denied by him, confirming that Larsen’s private keys were compromised, not the Ripple’s itself, adding the sarcastic comment: “Totally completely separate entities..wink wink”.
This statement seemingly refers to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) past allegations towards Ripple. Specifically, the agency previously claimed that Chris Larsen and Brad Garlinghouse held 20 million XRP tokens at an early date and engaged in unregistered personal token sales alongside Ripple’s corporate distribution. Ripple was partially cleared of the charges, as all the allegations against both executives were dropped in 2023.
Notably, ZachXBT reported that the stolen funds have been laundered through several cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, Gate, MEXC, and HitBTC.
The companies have not yet commented on the incident, nor shed any light on the alleged inner investigations.
Meanwhile, XRP has decreased by 5% amidst the fact of theft, trading for $0.49 as of the time of the report.
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