Millions in cryptocurrency 'stolen' despite denying money was lost

The money is being laundered using a 'mixer' which allows anonymous transactions.
The money is being laundered using a 'mixer' which allows anonymous transactions. Photo credit: Getty Images

Confusion reigns after some users of a cryptocurrency exchange promoted by Matt Damon found their wallets empty, but the company denied there had been any theft.

"We have a small number of users reporting suspicious activity on their accounts," said in a tweet.

"Our team is investigating. All funds are safe."

However PeckShield, a blockchain security and data analytics company, reported at least 4600 ether was stolen, worth at least US$15 million

It said half of the money was being laundered via Tornado Cash, an ethereum 'mixer' which allows anonymous transactions, in batches of 100 ether.

The CEO of, which recently paid US$700 million for naming rights to the Staples Center where the Los Angeles Lakers play, reiterated that "no customer funds were lost", despite some users still not having access to their money.

Coinbase stopped everyone withdrawing funds for around 14 hours after acknowledging the "suspicious activity" and CEO Kris Marszalek said it will share a full post mortem after an internal investigation is completed.

Blockchain records currently show the account attempting to use PeckShield has been "reported to be involved in ATO Stolen Funds", but it's not yet clear how much those responsible have already been able to cash out.

Tom Robinson, co-founder of blockchain analysis company Elliptic, told Vice's Motherboard it can be difficult to distinguish between regular withdrawals and theft.

"As far as I've seen, hasn't said that no funds were lost, but that 'no customer funds were lost'," he said.

"This could mean that the funds belonged to the company themselves rather than customers, or that any customer losses will be covered by the business."

Some users have taken to social media to say money has been returned, with others claiming they're still working with to try and get theirs back.

Even if everyone's money is eventually returned, it's yet another warning of the risks of investing in cryptocurrency which more traditional fiat investments don't necessarily have.