Liquid Heist: Hackers siphon off about US$97M from Japanese crypto exchange

August 20, 2021 12:14 PM AEST | By Furquan Moharkan
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Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has revealed that it has faced a cyber-attack, in which hackers have siphoned off US$97 million worth of digital coin.

“We are sorry to announce that #LiquidGlobal warm wallets were compromised, we are moving assets into the cold wallet”, Liquid announced from its Twitter handle.

The Japanese crypto exchange added that the theft was being investigated and regular updates will be shared about the same. “In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended,” it said.

While Liquid has not come up with the amount of loss attributed to the theft, however analysts are estimating the figure.

Elliptic, a blockchain analytics company, claimed that hackers have drained away about US$97 million in cryptocurrencies from Liquid.

“This includes US$45 million in Ethereum tokens, which are currently being converted into Ether using decentralised exchanges (DEXs) such as Uniswap and SushiSwap. This enables the hacker to avoid having these assets frozen - as is possible with many Ethereum tokens,” it said in a blogpost.

According to, Liquid is one of the top 20 crypto exchanges in the world. In the last 24 hours, the exchange has witnessed transactions worth US$147 million – making it the 19th largest exchange in the world.

The latest heist comes just 10 days after more than US$600 million of digital tokens were stolen from Poly Network, a so-called decentralized finance firm.

But soon, in a surprising move, the hackers opened a dialogue with the organisation they attacked and returned nearly all of the funds. However, there is still more than US$200 million remains locked in an account which requires a password from the hacker.

Cryptocurrency thefts seems to have picked up of late and the money involved in these thefts is huge – very huge.

Imagine this: How would you react if someone stole about US$700 million from your bank? You would probably be furious.

But in the case of cryptocurrencies, there isn’t much of outrage. Heists happen, but the fact remains that somewhere there is a need to up the ante on cyber security of the cryptocurrency assets. After all, if we want the world to gravitate more and more towards cryptocurrencies, we need to provide them with a certain degree of security. Probably time to buckle up the shoes.


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