A massive hack on a cryptocurrency had a knock-on effect in the last day or so, with bitcoin dropping from its record high level and ether also falling as a result.
Tether is a company with a market capitalisation of $676 million that runs a digital currency called USDT that is pegged to the US dollar. Their main job is to help people covert fiat money into cryptocurrency using bitcoin exchanges. They posted a blog post on Monday called Tether Critical Announcement saying that funds were “improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet” the day before.
They then called this a “malicious action by an external attacker”, before going on to advise tether integrators to take immediate action.
The exact amount that was stolen has been given as $30,950,010 (£23.4 million). The incident happened on the 19th of November and saw the money sent to an unauthorised bitcoin address which was given as 16tg2RJuEPtZooy18Wxn2me2RhUdC94N7r.
Tether pointed out that no-one should accept tokens from the address mentioned, as they won’t redeem them. The company pointed out that to resolve the problem they have temporarily suspended the back-end wallet service that they offer.
In addition, the firm is going to provide new builds of their Omni Core software to their community, which is described as “effectively a temporary hard fork”. They say that this should stop the attackers from moving the stolen money from their account and that all of the tether integrators should install it immediately. Indeed, the plan is that the stolen tokens are quickly put back into their rightful place.
Tether suffered a drop of 0.3% after this news, while bitcoin, ether and bitcoin cash all fell in the aftermath of this attack. Of course, bitcoin had earlier surged to a record high of $8,200 (£6,200) but it then fell by over 5% to a low of just under $7,800 (£5,896) before starting to recover again.
Is There Widespread Confidence in Cryptocurrencies Yet?
At the time of writing, bitcoin is again close to its record high, as it sits at just under $8,200. Of course, the tether hack isn’t the first time that cryptocurrencies have been caught up in this sort of issue, which may dent confidence in the markets about them being secure enough to be viewed as mainstream currencies.
A survey recently carried out by CNBC found that finance bosses believe that the cryptocurrency market is “real” but that it is in a bubble right now. The small sample of 43 executives found that 27.9% of them thought this, while a similar percentage called it a “fraud”.
14% think that the current is real and that it is “still going higher”. The survey was run using the CNBC Global CFO Council and just under a third of them said that they don’t have enough information about bitcoin to form a solid opinion just now.
Finance bosses in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions appeared to be more sceptical about the digital currency when compared to their US and Asian counterparts.