Approximately 16 trillion PEPE tokens worth $15 million were illicitly transferred to crypto exchanges and sold, according to an announcement from the meme coin’s anonymous lead developer. The theft was allegedly orchestrated by three former team members who accessed the token’s multi-signature wallet before removing themselves from the project. Despite this setback, the lead developer has promised to continue moving the project forward and to fully decentralize it..
Anonymous Pepe Dev Reveals $15 Million in PEPE Tokens Stolen by Ex-Team Members
Three former PEPE team members allegedly took around 16 trillion PEPE tokens worth $15 million from the meme coin’s multi-sig wallet on August 24, 2023. The meme coin tokens were then quickly transferred to cryptocurrency exchanges Okx, Binance, Kucoin, and Bybit and sold, according to a statement from PEPE’s lead developer.
PEPE Token Heist: Former Team Members Swipe $15 Million in Tokens, Lead Developer Vows to Rebuild and Decentralize
PEPE/USDT via Binance on August 27, 2023.
The purported thieves reduced the required signer count for transactions from the wallet to just 2 out of 8 before draining the address of approximately 60% of its holdings. After the funds were obtained, they deleted their social media accounts and disassociated themselves from the PEPE project, the lead dev’s statement claims.
Despite this major setback, PEPE’s lead developer is promising to continue developing the meme coin and says the remaining 10 trillion PEPE tokens in the compromised multi-sig wallet are now secure. The developer plans to transfer those tokens to a new wallet and eventually burn all of them to fully decentralize the meme token project.
“I am shocked at what took place and would like to apologize for all of the fear and uncertainty and any losses the actions of these bad actors have caused members of our community,” the anonymous lead developer wrote in the statement posted on social media on August 25.
The developer said they are in negotiations to purchase PEPE-related web domains and usernames using some of the remaining tokens before burning the rest. “Once all is set and complete, I would like PEPE to be left in a position where it can stand and thrive as strong as ever in a truly decentralized and anti-fragile state,” the PEPE developer wrote.