About $30M In Cryptocurrency Just Went Up In Hacker Smoke

Hackers have managed a $30.95 million payday — by hacking Tether, a startup offering dollar-backed digital tokens.

CoinDesk reports that a now-deleted post on the Tether site said the firm had been hit by a “malicious action by an external attacker” that resulted in the tokens being boosted. The removed post also reportedly reflected Tether’s efforts to recover the lost tokens before they filtered into the broader digital currency marketplace (and are presumably lost forever).

That recovery, according to Tether, will be attempted by suspending its back-end wallet services. The firm will also provide a software update to prevent the stolen coins from moving from the hackers’ address.

Tether’s selling point is that it is backed by fiat money (specifically the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen) — and thus theoretically less volatile than its cryptocurrency cousins like bitcoin.  But some experts are suggesting that the volatile bitcoin market — where individual crypto units are trading for about $8,200 as of this story being written — has spurred the Tether hack.

Tether tokens can be stored, sent and received across a blockchain. The are also redeemable for cash.