Most people are aware of the inherent risks that come with cryptocurrency. The dangers were illustrated yet again when exchange BitMart suffered a hack last month that saw $200 million worth of digital assets stolen. The company said it would reimburse all those impacted, but victims are still waiting for their money back five weeks later.
On December 4, 2021, BitMart announced that it had identified a large-scale security breach resulting from someone using a stolen private key to access two of its internet-connected hot wallets. The company assured impacted users that it would use its own money to compensate them.
But a new CNBC report reveals that some of those who lost a substantial amount of money five weeks ago have yet to see anything returned. Many of the victims lost SafeMoon tokens—more than 45 were stolen—including a Toronto-based Iranian refugee who had $53,000 worth of the coin stored in his BitMart wallet, $40,000 of which came from a loan that he has to pay back with 4% interest. He says the experience has left him close to suicide.
Another user lost $30,000 that came from himself, his mother, and his mother-in-law. And a Kansas-based investor who lost $35,000 says that he and 6,800 other investors are considering filing a class-action lawsuit against BitMart if the situation isn’t remedied in the next week.
Even if BitMart does pay everyone back by repurchasing the lost tokens, it could do so at their current prices, which in some cases are a lot higher. Many are also asking why the company hasn’t gone through insurance to reimburse the funds.
BitMart has reportedly been evasive when answering questions about returning the stolen funds, leading to a #WenBitMart Twitter campaign to draw attention to the situation.