Major hack hits Turkey’s largest crypto exchange BtcTurk

Cryptocurrency use in Turkey surged post-2020 as citizens sought protection against the lira’s steep decline.

On Saturday, BtcTurk, Turkey’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced a significant hack. A prominent Bitcoin analyst estimated the theft at nearly 51 million euros.

BtcTurk reported that on June 22, 2024, their platform experienced a cyber attack leading to unauthorized withdrawals. The breach affected hot wallets of 10 cryptocurrencies, but the majority of assets stored in cold wallets remained secure. Hot wallets, being constantly online, are more vulnerable to hacks compared to offline cold wallets.

The exchange assured users that their financial strength surpasses the amount stolen, ensuring user assets are safe. They are investigating the incident and have notified security authorities. As a precaution, cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals are temporarily halted until the investigation is complete.

“We appreciate your understanding and will keep you updated on all developments,” BtcTurk stated.

Bitcoin analyst ZachXBT speculated on X that the hacker might be associated with a specific address he has been monitoring, which transferred 1.96 million AVAX (worth $54.2 million) to Coinbase and THORChain. He shared the suspicious cryptocurrency address in his post.

Cryptocurrencies are immensely popular in Turkey, ranking the country as the fourth-largest crypto trading market globally. This rise in usage follows the severe devaluation of the lira.

Previously, Faruk Fatih Ozer, founder of another major Turkish crypto exchange, Thodex, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison for defrauding investors out of millions in an exit scam.