The fall of FTX highlighted the importance of proof of reserves in averting risks and improving investor confidence, urging leading crypto exchanges to publicly list down their cold and hot wallet addresses. When trying to confirm the availability of funds on Crypto.com, cold store information revealed a suspicious transfer of 320,000 Ether (ETH) to a wallet address linked to Gate.io on Oct. 21, 2022.
Community member jconorgrogan raised concerns about the transfer of 320,000 ETH from Crypto.com’s cold wallet to Gate.io, considering that the former claims that 100% of user-owned cryptocurrencies are held offline in cold storage in partnership with hardware wallet provider Ledger.
As discussions picked up steam, Kris Marszalek, the CEO of Crypto.com, revealed that the funds — representing 82% of Crypto.com’s ETH holding in the cold storage at the time of writing — were sent accidentally to Gate.io:
“It was supposed to be a move to a new cold storage address, but was sent to a whitelisted external exchange address.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Crypto.com spokesperson clarified that the whitelisted address on Gate.io was owned by Crypto.com. Regardless, Marszalek confirmed that Gate.io returned the funds to Crypto.com’s cold storage and reassured the investors that new processes and features were implemented to prevent a reoccurrence.
And why https://t.co/bVgf3bBSGR would send back to https://t.co/2vZHyCacXG 285K ETH 5-7 days later? pic.twitter.com/GhH6QGXntd
— Conor (@jconorgrogan) November 12, 2022
While on-chain data confirms that Gate.io returned 285,000 ETH back to Crypto.com, Marszalek stated that all funds were returned. Further investigation showed that the missing 35,000 ETH was sent to a different address, which is yet to be confirmed by the crypto exchange.
In a series of tweets, Marszalek later explained what transpired while confirming that all of Crypto.com's operations were functioning normally.
The ETH transfers that generated so much FUD & speculation on Twitter today were made over three weeks ago, on October 21st to https://t.co/pFc4Pz9nFR’s whitelisted corporate account at https://t.co/Mr9GCkL2gV.
— Kris | Crypto.com (@kris) November 13, 2022
It’s not the first time Crypto.com made headlines for an accidental transfer. Back in August 2022, it was found that Crypto.com accidentally sent AUD $10.5 million (worth over $7 million) to Melbourne-based investors, which was supposed to be an AUD $100 ($67) refund. The incident occurred back in May 2021 but was not discovered until an annual audit in December 2021.
Related: Crypto.com commits to proof-of-reserves after halting FTX-backed Solana deposits and withdrawals
Marszalek promised to publish Crypto.com audited proof of reserves on November 10 while highlighting the importance of transparency and user’s safety.
We share the belief that it should be necessary for crypto platforms to publicly share proof of reserves and https://t.co/pFc4Pz9nFR will be publishing our audited proof of reserves.
— Kris | Crypto.com (@kris) November 10, 2022
With most crypto businesses willing to share their proof of reserves, investors now have the opportunity to confirm the existence of their funds, which ultimately prevents business owners from misusing the cold storage funds.