2020 just started and the crypto industry has already seen some major cyber-attacks. It is quite evident that public interest in cryptocurrencies has risen considerably and so did the various crimes associated with it. Many exchanges have fallen prey to the hackers this year including big names like Binance, Bitfinex, OKex, and Robinhood. However, the most notable attack was the hack of IOTA’s trinity wallet that compelled the IOTA foundation to shut down the entire network.
IOTA is the first open-source, feeless distributed ledger developed with the sole aim of linking both the machine economy and human economy. 2020 started off on a good note for the project as its native cryptocurrency MIOTA got listed on popular cryptocurrency exchange BitMex. The listing saw the token’s price gaining momentum as it shot up more than 20% in 24 hours.
The biggest blow came with the total shutdown of the network on February 13th, 2020. Its native Trinity wallet underwent a major attack against its native and $2 million was stolen out of it. From the day of the hack, IOTA remained offline as the token lost 40% of its value since the network was turned off.
As per reports, 46 users were affected and a total of 8.52 million MIOTA, which is close to $1.97 million, was lost.
Victims to be made whole
However, IOTA investors can now rejoice as company founder David Sønstebø has assured that he’ll personally reimburse all the victims of the hack. In an interview with media outlet Cointelegraph, the IOTA founder announced his intentions. When asked about why he plans on using his personal funds to reimburse victims, Sønstebø said:
“I did not start Iota with the goal of making myself or my co-founders rich. This is why we are the only project to not have a pre-mine or special allocation of tokens of any sort; Iota is truly grassroots. […] We are closer than ever to achieving precisely the goal we set out to reach several years ago. Thus, I chose to use my personal holdings (which I haven’t touched in 2 years) to safeguard the Iota Foundation’s runway.”
While in most cases, funds once lost in the crypto industry are hardly retrieved, because most platforms and their owners tend not to take responsibility. Crypto exchanges like Binance have a backup fund to address situations like this, but this event is the first of its kind.
As per a recent IOTA blog and further reassurance from the founder, the network is finally expected to be back online on March 10th. In efforts to track the culprit, during the migration process, the foundation also reviewed migration submissions and subjected conflicting submissions to a KYC process. However, Sønstebø noted that the hunt still continues. Via Discord, Sønstebø added:
“We are still determined to catch him, but I can’t disclose any details due to the fact that this is now largely up to the authorities with IF as special expertise assistance. I just don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. There’s been 100s, if not 1000s of “hacks” in crypto in the last years and to my knowledge, our hunt down of the fake seed generator perpetrator is one of the very rare success stories.”