Former Pepe team Members Make Away With $15 Million

The Pepe team has confirmed that three of its former team members have stolen about 16 trillion PEPE, worth roughly $15 million. The funds were reportedly stolen from the project’s multisig wallet.

The culprits later sold the tokens on crypto exchanges and have since deleted their social media handles, the team said. According to the only multisig controller left at the project, the funds were sent to OKX, Binance, Kucoin and Bybit before being sold, and the multisig was reduced from a 5/8 signer count to 2/8.

According to an announcement to the PEPE community on Twitter, the theft was carried out on 24 August.

“Yesterday on August 24th, 2023, a series of unexpected transactions took place from the $PEPE multisig CEX Wallet in which ~16 Trillion $PEPE tokens (worth roughly $15m USD) were transferred to various crypto exchanges (OKX, Binance, Kucoin, and Bybit) and the required signer count was reduced to 2/8 wallets,” the team wrote.

“The multi-sig now sits with 10 Trillion Tokens and one signer remaining, and I can assure you that those tokens as well as this twitter account are in safe hands. I want to explain everything that took place and provide as much transparency as possible with the $PEPE community,” it further stated.

Pepe’s Internal Crisis

Pepecoin has been a leading memecoin this year, rising to significant price levels that have made it a name. However, according to the team, the project has “been plagued by inner strife with a portion of the team being bad actors led by big egos and greed.”

Apparently, it is this strife that culminated into the theft which represents around 4% of the token supply, and the multisig has approximately 10 trillion tokens, roughly 2% of the supply, remaining. Hopefully, it will be a smooth ride from now on.

“$PEPE is now entirely free of this baggage, with clear roads ahead. There has often been conflict, and the majority of the team involved in $PEPE creation started to distance themselves after the first week of project inception. They blocked team progress on making donations or purchases with multi-sig tokens due to inability to make signatures, disagreements, and being unavailable to contact for weeks at a time,” the team said.

The announcement also stated that the remaining 10 trillion tokens will be transferred to a new wallet and will either be used for something else or burnt.

PEPE Price Crashes Following Transfers

The theft and departure of the three ex-team members may be a relief to the remaining team looking at the long term, but it has affected the asset negatively for now. Shortly after the transfers, the price of the memecoin crashed to a low of $0.0000007975 on 25 August.

Although it experienced a bounce back to $0.0000009478, it has dropped again to the current price of $0.0000008971. With the incident, investors may become wary of the token for a while, even though it may not last for long.

Meanwhile, PEPE was already on a downward movement since mid-August. The drop could have been because of the general crash in the crypto market recently, but was worsened by the news of the unauthorized transfers. Hopefully, the memecoin will recover with the rest of the market when there is a rebound.

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