Bittrex is confused by the theft of 24 million STEEM tokens seized from its account


Shortly after an unknown entity „swapped“, or took, $5.7 million in STEEM tokens from the hard fork „New Steem,“ Bittrex confirmed that the funds had arrived in its account.

The exchange now faces the difficult decision of what to do with the 23.6 million STEEM tokens allegedly stolen from Steem witnesses.

In a statement today, May 21, Bittrex co-founder Richie Lai confirmed that the entity that initiated the transaction, an account called „community321,“ remains unknown to this day. Lai noted that there is an allegation that the account may have been hacked into outside Bittrex.

Mystery account „rescues“ $6 million in STEEM seized through fork

The statement says:

„This morning, someone deposited 23,627,501 STEEM into the

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main account. What happened during the hard fork and the claim that the „community321“ account was hacked out of the Bittrex ecosystem are two separate issues. We can’t confuse these two problems. „

STEEM tokens have not been claimed in Bittrex
The Bittrex co-founder stated that the exchange will „carefully review the origin of this transfer“ to return the funds to the original owner of the wallet. But to recover those funds, the owners will have to prove that the funds belong to them, Lai said. According to Bittrex, the transaction was sent „without a proper identification note,“ making it difficult to identify the ownership of the funds.

Lai wrote:

„In cases like this, if someone claims to be a victim of hacking, we require proof of ownership before returning the funds to the person or persons claiming to have been attacked.“

Steemit will change its block chain and token to the Tron network

The Bittrex spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph that the exchange now needs to verify ownership due to the complexities associated with the nature of the current account. Since the Bittrex primary deposit account „is like a bank routing number“, each transaction must have a depositor ID. The person said:

„When a deposit is made into this account, it must have an associated note to identify who the depositor is. […] Think of it this way: our primary account is like a bank routing number and the note/message is the bank account number. When a deposit arrives without a memo corresponding to one in our database, it is classified as „unclaimed“ until a user can prove ownership.

„We must live by the rules of blockchain“
Although Bittrex apparently committed to return the funds to their rightful owners, the message of the exchange may seem confusing: „The blockchain consensus, regardless of how it was achieved, agreed that the funds from these 64 accounts should be transferred to the community account, „321 Lai said in the statement.

In conclusion, the Bittrex co-founder believes that the „Inviolability of Blockchain“ must come before „personal opinions. Lai wrote:

„We believe in the inviolability of Blockchain and, as an industry, we must abide by its consensus rules without interfering with what our personal opinions may have. If we want Blockchain to succeed, we must follow its rules. „