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Cryptopia liquidator calls on token developers to help return hacked funds

Jaime Chacon


Cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia suffered a business-ending hack earlier this year when cyber criminals looted the firm of more than $16 million-worth of Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.

Now, the long, arduous process of sorting out that mess presses forward, with token developers scheduled to meet tomorrow, October 7, to lend a hand.

Just weeks ago, the New Zealand-based accounting firm Grant Thornton, responsible for leading Cryptopia’s liquidation process, reached out via email to affected token project developers to schedule a meeting to work together to resolve questions and help coordinate the complicated task of identifying and returning customer funds. 

A webinar Skype session is scheduled for Monday, where participation is encouraged in order to discuss the current state of the liquidation, plan for future steps and respond to technical inquiries. The overview is aimed at accelerating a process that originally began in May, though it is still expected to take at least several more months and will face strict requirements like mandatory anti-money-laundering and KYC identification.

Founder of defunct Cryptopia exchange has already founded a new one

Last month, Grant Thornton was able to recover the lost Cryptopia data records. Customers did not have individual wallets due to crypto assets being pooled on the centralized exchanges internal ledger. This makes reviewing all the transactions and identifying balances due for a refund a difficult task, especially given the fact that the exchange serviced more than 900,000 customers.

On January 14, 2019, the Cryptopia exchange was hacked in a security breach that ultimately resulted in the firm halting withdrawal and going permanently offline. The funds where removed from over 76,000 wallets, meaning the thieves somehow were able to compromise thousands of private keys. 

The hack continued for several days after the breach was discovered as it appears Cryptopia lost access to wallets. Part of the stolen funds that were transferred to Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange by volume, have been frozen. It is still unknown how the exploit was carried out, or by whom, as the investigation by New Zealand police and international authorities continues.

Crypto fantasy sports startup NoLimitCoin is one of the affected projects of the Cryptopia hack that has received an email notification inviting developer participation. They will be part of those assisting Grant Thornton to confirm wallet balances and trying to help their NLC2 tokens get released to their waiting holders.

Another impacted startup is coin and payment platform TokenPay, as CEO Derek Capó similarly confirmed via Twitter that his company was contacted. One issue that Capó identified as up for discussion on Monday is how forks and their distribution will be handled. 

It is still unknown if it will even be possible to recover the tokens that were stolen, since many of them have have been transferred to several different wallets.