During a February 8 exploit, Gemini's retirement accounts or IRA financial hacked. Although the crypto IRA firm hasn't said much, victims think millions of dollars were transferred. They joined IRA Financial Trust intending to accumulate a crypto portfolio. Instead, several customers told CoinDesk that their retirement funds had been withdrawn, frozen, and locked, with no explanation as to what would happen next.
It's been about a week since IRA Financial's clients were thrown into crisis mode due to an apparent security compromise after the Gemini client IRA hacked. They've started planning a response to IRA financial crypto's latest theft, with $36 million of their retirement funds in jeopardy and no complete explanation from either IRA Financial or Gemini, the crypto exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, and custodian where their bitcoin was housed.
Users in the dozens had begun contacting news organizations and regulators, requesting information on how they lost potentially millions of dollars on Feb. 8 after the IRA financial trust hack, when an apparent bad actor began taking assets from Gemini in large amounts. IRA Financial Trust is one such organization that uses Gemini's institutional trading and custody package to handle its retirement account services.
The alleged victims tell CoinDesk that they are caught in a tangled web of contradictory information that only complicates an already tense situation. Even the most basic data, such as how many IRA accounts for cryptocurrency were compromised and who (if anyone) would cover their losses, are still unknown. In addition, users told CoinDesk that some only get short email updates from IRA Financial, while others are compelled to contact every day.
What’s clear is this:
What's certain is that about 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, an account known as "Benjamin Choe" began removing bitcoin, ether, and US dollars from user accounts. Despite several account security layers, such as two-factor authentication, one user claimed to have lost 13 ETH, 1 BTC, and hundreds of dollars in a couple of minutes.
IRA Financial Trust has admitted an incident and is investigating it, telling CoinDesk that "suspicious activity" affected "a limited subset of our customers with accounts on the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange" in an emailed statement.
A spokeswoman for IRA Financial's contracted crisis communications firm told CoinDesk, "We are working closely with third-party forensic specialists to determine the nature and scope of this incident."