Ethereum Price Little Changed After Bancor Hack Compromises $12 Million ETH

The value of Ethereum was down only slightly Monday after hackers made off with roughly $12 million worth of the digital currency in a coordinated attack on Bancor, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. At the time of writing, the stolen ether is still at large.

Bancor Attack

At roughly 00:00 UTC, Bancor was subject to a security breach exposing tens of thousands of ETH coins. ERC-20 tokens NPXS and BNT were also compromised in the attack.

Bancor disclosed the attack early Monday in a post that appeared on Twitter. The attack targeted a wallet used to upgrade some smart contracts on the network, which allowed the perpetrator to steal large sums of ERC-20 tokens in addition to Ethereum.

The monetary breakdown of the attack is as follows:

  • 24,984 ETH (~$12.5 million)
  • 229,356,645 NPXS (~$1 million)
  • 3,200,000 BNT (~$10 million)

NXPS is the native currency of the Pundi X platform. Bancor is the native coin of the Bancor exchange.

“Once the theft was identified, we were able to freeze the stolen BNT, limiting the damage to the Bancor ecosystem from the theft,” the company said in the statement. ” The ability to freeze tokens was built into the Bancor Protocol to be used in an extreme situation to recover from a security breach…”

Bancor was unable to freeze the stolen ether, but is now working with dozens of exchanges to trace the funds. If successful, this will make the stolen coins harder to liquidate on the open market.

The company assured users that no wallets were compromised and that an investigation was ongoing.

Interestingly, this is the second time in as many months that NPXS has been targeted by hackers. The token was compromised last month in an attack on Coinrail, a smaller digital currency exchange based in South Korea.

ETH/USD Price Levels

Ether drifted mostly lower Monday, though losses were generally well contained in spite of the Bancor attack. The ETH/USD exchange rate spent most of the day between $480 and $490 before bottoming near $475 in the early evening. Prices are down 3% over 24 hours.

The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization crossed the $500 mark on Sunday for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks. The gains were accompanied by a slight bump in trading volumes, a trend that continued into Monday.

When measured by trading volume, ether is the third largest cryptocurrency on the market behind bitcoin and tether, a dollar-pegged stablecoin.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi