Binance Freezes $4.2 Million of Stolen XRP from Ripple Co-Founder’s Wallets

Binance announced on Feb. 1 that it has frozen $4.2 million worth of XRP that was stolen from Chris Larsen, the co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple, one day earlier.

The theft occurred on Jan. 31, when an unknown hacker exploited a vulnerability in Larsen’s personal XRP wallets and transferred $112 million worth of XRP to various addresses. The hacker then attempted to sell the stolen XRP on different exchanges, including Binance.

Binance CEO Richard Teng said in a tweet that the Binance team managed to freeze $4.2 million worth of XRP stolen by the exploiter, thanks to the efforts of the community and the Ripple team. He also said that Binance will continue to support Ripple in their investigations and their efforts to retrieve back the funds, and that Binance is firmly dedicated to supporting a safe ecosystem.

Teng initially misidentified the exploit as targeting Ripple itself, but later corrected himself after being informed by Thomas Silkjær, a member of the XRP Ledger Foundation, that the attack targeted Larsen’s own XRP addresses rather than Ripple’s corporate XRP accounts. Various Ripple members also confirmed this fact in comments yesterday.

This is not the first time that Larsen’s XRP wallets have been hacked. In 2019, he lost $37 million worth of XRP to a similar exploit. Larsen is one of the richest people in the crypto space, with an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion as of February 2024, according to Forbes. He owns about 5.19 billion XRP, which is about 5.3% of the total XRP supply.

XRP is the native cryptocurrency of the XRP Ledger, an open-source distributed ledger that is used by Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments. XRP is currently the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with a value of $0.5 as of Feb. 2, 2024.

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