Bitcoin falls after $31 million stolen from dollar-linked cryptocurrency vendor Tether
22 November, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Paula Vaughn
The company's development team is now attempting to prevent the stolen amount, which was in Tether tokens, from entering the wider trading economy.
What has come under much scrutiny is the relationship, which remains unclear, between Tether and Bitfinex the troubled bitcoin exchange based in the British Virgin Islands, and the allegations made some time ago that the exchange has used the asset to engage in market manipulation and fraud. It also said that issuances of USDT haven't been affected by the attack, maintaining that the Tether reserve still fully backs all USDT. "If you don't know how quickly you can exit back to cash, how the currency can be regulated, manipulated or impacted by a hack - you'd better find another digital asset to invest into, such as intellectual property". The startup has confirmed in a statement that some "malicious" attacker has stolen tokens from the Tether Treasury on Nov 19th and sent them to some unknown and unauthorized Bitcoin address.
Skepticism had already been building around Tether after the Hong Kong incorporated company said in April that US dollar wire exchanges of funds had been blocked.
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Tether's users are unlikely to abandon it as long as it's supported by exchanges and no other credible pegged token appears, according to Zhou Shuoji, a founding partner at FBG Capital, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency investment company.
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Tether is taking its own steps in the meantime, as stated above, including flagging the stolen tokens (a way of tracking them to ensure the hackers can not spend or trade them) as well as suspending its back-end wallet service.
Tether said it has taken steps to suspend the Tether.to backend wallet service temporarily while it performs an investigation of the attack to ensure it does not happen again.
In response Tether said it has flagged the tokens (meaning that it will track them and prevent the holder from exchanging them through its service) and that it is working to recover them. This update is meant to prevent the stolen coins from being a part of the system again by locking them into the hacker's wallet. Many exchanges purportedly use tether to hedge and transfer Bitcoin trades.
Coindesk also reported that Tether had links to Bitfinex - a Hong Kong-based exchange that reported a hack past year blamed for about $65m of losses - although the report added that the "nature of the connection" was unclear.
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