Circle, Tether Freeze Over $65M in Assets Transferred from Multichain

Multichain announced a complete suspension of current operations, and on July 6, millions of dollars worth of virtual currency assets were transferred for unknown reasons.

According to the knowledge graph protocol 0xScope, stablecoin issuers Circle and Tether have frozen more than $65 million (about 470 million yuan) in assets suspected of being involved in the cross-chain routing protocol Multichain. The move is an emergency move by Circle and Tether following the massive outflow of funds from the Multichain MPC bridge on July 6.

According to 0xScope, three addresses that received at least US$63.2 million (about 456 million yuan) of USD Coin (USDC) from Multichain have now been frozen. Another report from the Fantom Foundation pointed out that more than $2.5 million (about 18.07 million yuan) of Tether (USDT) from the other two “Multichain Suspicious Addresses” listed on Etherscan has also been net frozen.

On July 6, more than $125 million (about 902 million yuan) of virtual currency was withdrawn from multiple wallets, affecting Multichain’s Fantom bridge and the ecosystems of Dogechain, Moonriver, Kava, and Conflux. The reasons for these unusual asset transfers remain unknown.

On Twitter, Multichain announced the suspension of current services without specifying a specific recovery date. At the same time, it warned: “Please do not use Multichain’s bridge service at this time,” adding that “all bridge transactions will be stuck on the source chain.”

Fantom Protocol CEO Michael Kong reportedly said that the transfer of funds “doesn’t appear to be an ordinary hack,” as assets sent to the purported attacker’s wallet were not transferred elsewhere. The investigation is still ongoing.

Multichain allows users to transfer tokens between different networks. But Multichain has faced technical and operational challenges since its leadership inexplicably disappeared a few weeks ago. Bridges like Multichain are among the easiest targets for virtual currency hackers, with several similar incidents already reported in 2022.

Recently, a report from the blockchain security company SlowMist showed that since 2012, more than $30 billion (approximately RMB 2.16 trillion) of virtual currency assets have been stolen in hundreds of incidents. The five most common attacks are smart contract vulnerabilities, rug pulls, flash loan attacks, scams, and private key leaks.

Over the past few years, a total of 118 exchanges have been hacked, 217 Ethereum ecosystem hacks, 162 BNB smart chain ecosystem hacks, 119 EOS ecosystem hacks, and 85 Hacks involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In the past ten years, hacking attacks on virtual currency exchanges have caused losses of more than 10 billion US dollars (about 72.2 billion yuan).

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