$PEPE: $15 million theft shakes crypto community

Category: Blockchain


The Pepe token ($PEPE) has found itself at the center of an internal upheaval that led to a significant breach of trust. Around 16 trillion $PEPE tokens with an estimated value of approximately $15 million were unlawfully acquired and subsequently moved to various cryptocurrency exchanges last week.

Someone who claimed to be the token’s last remaining founder disclosed the incident via the project’s official Twitter/X account.

Yesterday, these three ex-team members resurfaced, circumvented the system, made off with 16 Trillion, which constitutes 60 percent of the 26 trillion multi-sig tokens, and sent them off to exchanges for sale,” the individual wrote on August 26.

Subsequently, these former team members purportedly detached themselves as signers from the wallet and deactivated their social media accounts.

The actions of the former Pepe team members catalyzed a substantial 16 percent drop in PEPE’s price, raising concerns among investors and traders.

Retaining value

Pepe has garnered widespread attention since its initial launch in April, undergoing a rise of over 1,500 percent in May alone and reaching a peak market capitalization of $1.5 billion.

Although the token’s value experienced a subsequent decline, the 15 most substantial Pepe holders initially amassed paper profits collectively exceeding $90 million.

The stolen tokens correspond to approximately four percent of the entire supply. On the flip side, the remaining balance within the multi-sig wallet accounts for roughly 10 trillion tokens, equivalent to about two percent of the overall supply.


According to the final controller of the multi-sig system, the stolen tokens were promptly dispatched to exchanges such as OKX, Binance, Kucoin, and Bybit and subsequently liquidated. In response, the number of multisig signers was curtailed from 5/8 to 2/8, as unveiled in a late Friday announcement.

Multisig configurations are frequently employed in the cryptocurrency industry to bolster security, as they necessitate the consensus of multiple team members through their digital signatures for transaction authorization.

Reassurance from the last remaining founder

In the face of these developments, the token’s last remaining founder extended assurance to the Pepe community, emphasizing the project’s commitment to rooting out malicious actors and forging ahead with renewed optimism.

They also clarified their continued control over the project’s X account, the multi-sig wallet, and the 10 trillion tokens enclosed within, as well as disclosed that the surviving tokens had been transferred to a new address.

The individual further divulged ongoing dialogues with influential figures within the cryptocurrency community aimed at soliciting guidance for the project’s forward journey. This transparency from the founder was met with a positive reception, catalyzing an impressive increase of over 11 percent in PEPE’s price.

However, skepticism arose regarding the developer’s narrative, with some speculating that the anonymous developer might have wielded multiple accounts to orchestrate the scheme. Critics have pointed out inconsistencies in the developer’s assertion that only one signer remained for the multi-sig wallet when records indicated the threshold had been updated to 2/8 signers.

Despite these developments, PEPE managed to stage a 2.3 percent rebound in the past 24 hours, and its market capitalization currently stands at $350 million.

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