In an announcement to the PEPE community, it was claimed that three former members stole funds from the project and then handed over full control to the sole remaining member.
The circumstances behind the mysterious $16 million withdrawal from the Pepecoin (PEPE) project’s multisig wallet have seemingly been revealed, with the finger being pointed at three ex-team members who went rogue.
On Aug. 24, the price of PEPE plunged by roughly 15% amid fears of a potential rug-pull after the community spotted that $16 million worth of PEPE was withdrawn from the Pepe multisig wallet and sent to several exchanges.
1 hour ago, the Pepe multisig wallet, changed the amount of signatures required on their multisig from a 5/8 to 2/8. This comes after sending $15.7 million worth of $PEPE to exchanges.
A breakdown of what we know: pic.twitter.com/bxBxp6Nzqz
— ASXN (@asxn_r) August 24, 2023
Clearing up the matter in an Aug. 25 post on X (Twitter), one of the anonymous founding members behind Pepecoin provided a community announcement from the @pepecoineth account, detailing what they claim had happened.
According to the statement, three team members abruptly stole the funds from the multisig and then abandoned the project completely, leaving it in full control to the sole remaining member.
“The multi-sig was set up to require 3/4 signers present for an approval. 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 sell.”
“They then removed themselves from the multisig in an attempt to absolve any association to $PEPE, deleting all of their social accounts and leaving me behind nothing but a message stating ‘the multisig has been updated, you are now in full control,’” they added.
an announcement to the $PEPE community:
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,… pic.twitter.com/iZmXV1TAvw
— Pepe (@pepecoineth) August 26, 2023
The founding member claimed that the X account and the remaining 10 trillion PEPE in the multsig are now in safe hands, with the funds set to be transferred to a new wallet where “they will safely rest until a use or burn arises.”
It was also asserted that these former members were difficult to work with since Pepecoin launched in April, and had held the project back from progress on its various targets.
Moving forward, the remaining member claimed they will do what’s right for the PEPE community now that the bad actors have gone.
“Since its inception, $PEPE has unfortunately been plagued by inner strife with a portion of the team being bad actors led by big egos and greed,” they said, adding that:
“As I process what has happened, I look forward to a future for $PEPE where I will be able to operate with the community and tokens’ best intention in mind and no negligent team members and locked multisig situation blocking me from doing what is best.”
The telegram group for $PEPE is currently locked down, the old telegram account for the group owner was hacked and the group was taken over. In the process of trying to regain access or make a new one. All official communication for $PEPE will take place via the @pepecoineth… pic.twitter.com/lQFTu02jub
— Pepe (@pepecoineth) August 26, 2023
The reaction was mixed in the comments, with some in support or bullish on the announcement, while others were questioning the truth of these claims.
At the time of writing, the price of PEPE has increased by 5.7% over the past 24 hours to sit at $$0.000000895278, with a current market cap of $382.7 million according to data from CoinGecko.