On Tuesday, hackers executed a substantial theft of approximately $112 million in the Ripple-focused cryptocurrency XRP from the personal crypto wallet of Ripple’s co-founder and executive chairman, Chris Larsen. Larsen promptly announced the breach on X, revealing that unauthorized access occurred in a few of his personal XRP accounts, distinct from those owned by Ripple. He assured that the issue was swiftly addressed, with exchanges notified to freeze the affected addresses, and law enforcement involvement initiated. The disclosure came shortly after prominent crypto security researcher ZachXBT broke the news of the hack.
Subsequent reports indicated that the stolen XRP funds had been laundered through multiple crypto exchanges and platforms, including Binance and Kraken. Both exchanges acknowledged awareness of the incident and expressed active support for the ongoing investigation. However, the details surrounding the ownership and control of the hacked wallet, named “Ripple (50),” raised ambiguity, as it may or may not be linked to Ripple’s official wallet. On-chain data from XRPScan revealed that the compromised wallet was activated by a separate wallet named “~FundingWallet1,” which, in turn, was activated by Larsen’s account. Ripple clarified that the company itself was not impacted by the security breach.
The hack, labeled as the largest cryptocurrency theft in 2024 and the twentieth largest in recorded history, has prompted calls from some XRP holders for increased transparency. Some are urging co-founders, including Larsen, to disclose their crypto wallets and XRP holdings. Meanwhile, others, such as podcast host Tony Edward, advocate for Larsen to distance himself from Ripple. The incident has led to a 4% decline in the market capitalization of XRP, which holds a value of $27.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.