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Since its last update more than two months ago, liquidators of the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia have now provided details on the current state of progress — but there’s still no firm date for reimbursement.
Grant Thornton was appointed to the task of liquidation by Cryptopia back in May and was tasked with securing any remaining assets and setting out a plan of action that best benefits both customers and stakeholders.
According to a previous report by Grant Thornton, the company had challenges identifying amounts owed to individual customers due to the fact that customers did not have individual wallets. Instead, funds were stored in a pooled Unlike the physical wallet in your back pocket, a cryptocurrency wallet doesn’t actually store currency but the keys to a... More while trades were executed internally on Cryptopia’s ledger.
Fortunately, Cryptopia did keep a database of these trades but neglected to actually reconcile this with its internal ledger to determine which user held which currencies, when they held them, and what their final balance was prior to the hack.
In the most recent stakeholder update, Grant Thornton notes that work to reconcile the database with the internal ledger is “well underway and will still take some time to complete,” clarifying that it is currently reconstructing the accounts of “over 900,000 customers, many holding multiple crypto-assets, millions of transactions and over 400 different crypto-assets”
Reconsolidating the Cryptopia ledger was apparently no easy task, with Grant Thornton needing to seek expert help to rebuild the Cryptopia wallet environment. This lengthy task was undertaken to ensure that any malicious code involved in the hack could not affect the liquidation and repatriation process.
Grant Thornton also appears to have made significant headway dealing with a dispute with phoenixNAP — an IT services provider in New Zealand. Following its liquidation, phoenixNAP terminated its contract with Cryptopia and demanded a $1.9 million payment or risk important data and valuable digital assets being overwritten.
Now, it appears Grant Thornton has made some headway in the phoenixNAP dispute, apparently retrieving customer data and digital assets from the hosting company. It remains unclear whether Grant Thornton paid the $1.9 million fee to accomplish this.
Lastly, an auction company has successfully auctioned off Cryptopia’s remaining physical assets and equipment, raising an unknown amount.
Although Grant Thornton has made a great deal of progress since its appointment as liquidator, there still remain a number of challenging issues that need to be resolved before the repatriation process can begin.
As for the assets that were stolen during the January 2019 breach, Grant Thornton is currently working with New Zealand Police and international authorities to identify the source of the hack. As it stands, Grant Thornton is not interested in the mechanism behind the hack, but are nonetheless working with third parties to freeze and potentially recover the funds.
Grant Thornton makes it clear that it requires guidance from the New Zealand courts before it can begin returning crypto-assets to their owners. Nonetheless, customers will need to comply with Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Client (AML/KYC) regulations before they can receive their crypto assets back since this is a legal requirement in New Zealand.
As of yet, a timeline for repatriation has not been provided, though Grant Thornton did state that the “reconciliation process is progressing well.”
Have you ever been affected by a cryptocurrency exchange hack? Let us know in the comments below.
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