Bitcoin just passed the $8000 for the first time this week, but it didn’t land quite well for Tether, a platform that helps in exchanging flat currency to tokens, reported a theft by hacker on Tuesday.
It said in a statement that “through malicious action” attacker snatched tokens from the Tether Treasury wallet on 11/19 and sent them to an unauthorized bitcoin address. The company said it is working to prevent its entry back in the ecosystem. The company for now has flagged the token and is trying to track it.
The latest hack has fueled the concern on Wall Street about whether these “coins” are secure enough to enter the mainstream market. Tether, with a market capitalization of around $670 million, is the world’s nineteenth most-valued virtual currency, according to data on Coinmarketcap.com.
Tether helps facilitate exchanges against currencies like dollar,yen and euros. Anti-money laundering and KYC (know your customer) rules have prevented many bitcoin exchanges from opening bank accounts needed to hold fiat currencies.
The concern caused a historic slip of the bitcoin after this $31 million theft. Bitcoin dropped as much as 5.4 percent to $7,798.72, before paring declines to 0.7 percent at 9:20 a.m. in London. But it quickly recovered the dent.
“If tether is actually fundamentally compromised, that will be a very big issue for many exchanges,” Hayes said. “The knee-jerk reaction was that fear.”