Last week, millions of dollars worth of the PEPE memecoin was sold on several crypto exchanges, sending the price of the token down nearly 20% and spooking investors.
An X (formerly Twitter) announcement from the project’s official account revealed that 16 trillion PEPE, worth around $15 million, was sent to multiple centralized exchanges through a series of “unexpected transfers.”
One of the project’s developers revealed that tokens had been stolen from the multisig wallet, which required 3/4 signers to approve transactions.
“Yesterday these 3 ex-team members came back behind my back, logged onto the multi-sig, stole 16 Trillion/ 60% of the 26 trillion multi-sig tokens, and sent them to exchanges to sale,” said the PEPE developer.
These former team members then allegedly removed themselves as signers from the wallet and deleted their social media accounts.
“At this point, it appears that most/all of the tokens stolen from the multi-sig yesterday were quickly sold on OKX and Binance. The remaining 10 trillion tokens left in the multi-sig will be transferred out of the old multi-sig and into a new wallet where they will safely rest until a use or burn arises,” said the developer.
the 10.6 Trillion tokens left in the $PEPE multisig have just been transferred to a new address: 0x9f5E46E4990dee30665b2e803BA134564D1e087F
— Pepe (@pepecoineth) August 26, 2023
Meanwhile, on-chain analysts traced the funds sent to centralized exchanges, and found that $6.5 million had been sent to Binance, $8.2 million to OKX, $434,000 to Bybit and $389,000 to another address. The tokens transferred to the exchanges amount to around 3.8% of PEPE’s circulating supply.
The list of insiders in this post have started selling $PEPE 50 minutes ago.
400 billion $PEPE have already been sold mainly from this address:
— Yazan (@YazanXBT) August 26, 2023
Not everyone bought into the PEPE developer’s story accusing the former team members of orchestrating the theft, with some suggesting that the anonymous developer may have had multiple accounts through which he carried out the scheme.
Specifically, market participants poked holes with the developer’s claims that only one signer to the multisig wallet remained, when in fact, the threshold was updated to 2/8 signers.
He probably said one signer remaining because he controls both the remaining two signing wallets. 😂
— kekpunks (@kekpunksxyz) August 26, 2023
PEPE is trading 2.3% higher over the last 24 hours, with a market cap of $350 million. At its peak, the memecoin had a market cap of $1.65 billion.