Circle, Tether halt roughly $65 million in assets coming from Multichain

By: Ikenna Odunze

Circle, Tether halt roughly $65 million in assets coming from Multichain

July 9, 2023 7:19 AM

Multichain has halted all activities following the mysterious transfer of cryptocurrency assets worth millions of dollars on July 6.


Circle and Tether, two stablecoin issuers, have frozen nearly $65 million in assets linked to a potential exploit of the cross-chain router technology Multichain. The action comes in the aftermath of significant outflows from the Multichain MPC bridge on July 6. 


At least $63.2 million worth of USD Coin (USDC) sent from Multichain has been locked at three addresses, as reported→ by the 0xScope knowledge graph protocol. More than $2.5 million worth of Tether (USDT) has been frozen from two addresses labeled "Multichain Suspicious Addresses" by Etherscan, according to a report→ by the Fantom Foundation.


On July 6, around $125 million in cryptocurrencies were removed from several wallets, damaging the ecosystems of Multichain's Fantom bridge, as well as Dogechain, Moonriver, Kava, and Conflux. The reason for the unusual asset transfer is unknown.

 


Multichain announced on Twitter→ that it was halting existing services without indicating a return date. For the time being, the message pleaded, "Do not use the Multichain bridging service; all bridge transactions will be permanently stuck on the source chains."


According to Fantom protocol CEO Michael Kong, the movement of cash "does not appear to be a normal hack" because the assets transmitted to the suspected attacker's wallets were not transferred elsewhere. The investigation is still ongoing.


Users can move tokens between networks using Multichain. Since its leadership departed a few weeks ago, it has faced technical and operational issues. With multiple attacks documented in 2022, bridges like Multichain are among the most vulnerable targets for crypto hackers.


According to new research by blockchain security firm SlowMist, approximately $30 billion in crypto assets has been hacked in hundreds of cases since 2012. Smart contract flaws, rug pulls, flash loan assaults, frauds, and private key breaches are the top five most common hacks.


There were a total of 118 hacks involving exchanges, 217 involving the Ethereum ecosystem, 162 involving the BNB Smart Chain, 119 involving the EOS ecosystem, and 85 involving NFTs. Over the last decade, crypto exchange breaches have cost more than $10 billion.