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Bittensor halts network following $8m theft due to private key leak

bittensor-halts-network-following-8m-theft-due-to-private-key-leak
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Bittensor halts network following $8m theft due to private key leak

Blockchain startup Bittensor has temporarily halted its network due to a private key leak, causing the network’s token to drop by 16%.

Bittensor, a decentralized machine learning protocol, has apparently fallen victim to a hacker attack, targeting multiple wallets in the network, with losses estimated at $8 million.

In a Telegram post on Jul. 2, blockchain sleuth ZachXBT revealed in a Telegram post that hackers withdrew over 30,000 Bittensor TAO tokens, valued at approximately $8 million at the time. Bittensor confirmed the attack in a Discord channel, prompting a temporary network halt.

As of press time, the root cause of the hack remains unclear, though ZachXBT suggested it might have resulted from “private key leakage.” Following the news, the TAO token dropped nearly 16% to $227 before rebounding to $238, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Founded in 2019 by AI researchers Ala Shaabana and Jacob Steeves, Bittensor initially operated as a Polkadot parachain but pivoted to its own layer-1 chain in March 2023. Reports indicate Polychain Capital backed Bittensor in 2019 and held around $200 million in its tokens as of April.