OKEx Bitcoin Wallet Maintenance Sparks Hack Rumors

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Rumors were rife about a possible security breach at OKEx last Saturday after 16,000 Bitcoins were transferred from the cryptocurrency exchange to an unknown wallet in multiple transactions. Expectedly, the unfounded report soon set off alarm bells among traders using the platform.

Before the rumor could do any significant damage, however, OKEx CEO Jay Hao (@JayHao8) sprung into action to quickly dismiss said transactions as just another scheduled wallet maintenance.

Hao wrote on Weibo (via Google Translate):

“Planned internal wallet maintenance, don’t mess around. OKEx is the world’s top liquidity, welcome everyone to experience.”

OKEx is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of daily trading volume. With more than 300 pairs to choose from, it facilitates daily trading worth over $1 billion.

The rumor started after cryptocurrency live tracking bot, Whale Alert (@whale_alert), started reporting large-scale Bitcoin transactions taking place over at OKEx on Jan 18.

There were as many as six large transactions in a span of 12 hours, of which five saw transactions involving 3,000 BTC each and one involving 1,000 BTC. Together, all six transactions saw nearly $141 million moving into an unknown wallet.


Interestingly, the rumors came into life even after the OKEx CEO seemingly pre-emptively clarified that all these transactions were part of scheduled wallet management, as can be seen in the Tweet below.

This isn’t the first time a scheduled wallet maintenance has led to such rumors. For example, the OKEx CEO had to issue a similar clarification earlier in September of last year after $270 million in BTC was sent from the exchange to an unknown wallet.

Security breaches remain a major pain point for cryptocurrency exchanges across the world, which is why even unfounded rumors can sometimes wreak havoc if not nipped in the bud. Just last November, unknown perpetrators managed to breach the defenses of leading cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit, and got away with assets then-valued at nearly $51 million.

As BeInCrypto has previously reported, the stolen ETH stash still remains on the move and is unlikely to be ever recovered unless the hackers hand themselves over on a platter by committing rookie blunders.

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Shilpa is a network engineer and management graduate who is deeply passionate about artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. She has been associated with several leading science & tech publications throughout her career as a journalist and columnist. Full-time foodie, semi-skilled musician, wannabe novelist.

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