Ripple’s executive chairman and co-founder, Chris Larsen, has utilized social media to address and clarify the recent reports surrounding the alleged hacking of the payment protocol on Wednesday.
Larsen’s Accounts Hacked
“Yesterday, there was an incident of unauthorized access to a few of my personal XRP accounts (not affiliated with @Ripple). We promptly identified the issue and alerted exchanges to freeze the affected addresses,” Larsen stated on X. “Law enforcement has already been informed.”
Prior to Larsen’s clarification, a user named ZachXBT shared information regarding the breach, revealing that over $112.5 million worth of XRP had been stolen. “Thus far, the stolen funds have been funneled through various exchanges such as MEXC, Gate, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, HitBTC, and more,” ZachXBT reported.
XRP Dips in Value
In the wake of the hacking incident, the price of XRP experienced a sharp decline, dropping by over 5%. Subsequently, the cryptocurrency managed to partially recover, but it remained down by 4% as of late Wednesday morning.
Fortunately, it appears that the accounts of Ripple users have not been compromised by the hackers, at least for the time being.
Nevertheless, not everyone on social media was satisfied with Larsen’s statement regarding the breach. One X user expressed their concerns by asking, “So if Zach never reported it, you wouldn’t inform the public?” To which ZachXBT replied, “Totally completely separate entities… *wink* *wink*.”
Crypto Hacks–A Recurring Problem Beyond Ripple
The revelation of Larsen’s hacked accounts is part of an ongoing security concern, with data from Immunefi indicating that nearly $127 million ended up in the hands of hackers and fraudsters in 19 distinct incidents in January 2024 alone.
This figure represents a significant surge in cryptocurrency losses compared to the previous year, as the total for January 2024 is six times higher than the illicit gains in January 2023. DeFi platforms have been the primary focus of these cyberattacks during the initial month of 2024.
Just three weeks prior, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had its X account breached shortly before the agency approved spot Bitcoin ETFs. This incident prompted additional scrutiny from the cryptocurrency community.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse expressed his concerns, stating, “I do think the chair of the SEC, Gary Gensler, is a political liability in the United States. And I think he’s not acting in the interests of the citizenry, he’s not acting in the interests of the long-term growth of the economy, and I don’t understand it.”
Ripple and the SEC have encountered legal disputes in the past, with a judge partially ruling in favor of Ripple’s argument that XRP is not a security during a lawsuit initiated by the federal agency in July 2023.
Garlinghouse expressed optimism for a potential change, saying, “I think at some point there will be a new chair of the SEC, and I think that will be a good thing for the American people.”