Ripple’s XRP token experienced a significant drop of over 5% on Wednesday, following reports and speculation that the network may have been hacked, resulting in a potential loss of $112.5 million. Chris Larsen, the Executive Chairman of Ripple, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to clarify the situation, stating that there had been a breach in his “personal XRP accounts,” but emphasized that Ripple itself had not been compromised. Larsen assured users that the problem had been swiftly identified, and exchanges were immediately notified to freeze the affected addresses. Law enforcement agencies have also been involved in the investigation.
The incident was initially brought to light by ZachXBT, a blockchain investigator, who revealed on X that approximately 213 million XRP tokens had been siphoned out of a large wallet on the XRP Ledger blockchain. The stolen funds were subsequently laundered through various exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, and OKX.
Ripple’s XRP is currently ranked as the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, according to CoinMarketCap. It serves as the native token of the XRP Ledger, a specialized blockchain primarily focused on facilitating payments. Ripple Labs, the company behind the network, utilizes XRP to power tools such as RippleNet, a cross-border payments platform designed for financial institutions.
It is worth noting that Ripple Labs faced legal action from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2020. The SEC accused the company of fraudulent activities related to the sale of XRP tokens, alleging that they were sold without proper registration as securities. Chris Larsen was directly named in the lawsuit. However, in July 2023, a judge refrained from categorizing XRP as a security, providing a significant victory for Larsen and Ripple Labs.
At present, XRP is trading at $0.497, having started the day at $0.525, according to available data.