Thousands of Dollars in Dogecoin Are Missing

A blog about business and economics.
May 13 2014 12:41 PM

Dogecoin Disaster: Such Sad. So Danger of Unsupervised Currency Markets.

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The Shiba Inu is sad because millions of Dogecoins have been spirited away.

Photo by Yuya Tamai via Flickr.

The Great Dogecoin Heist is on. Millions of the meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin have vanished from the popular online wallet service Doge Vault, causing its site to shut down in an apparent hack. This might sound like a lot of gibberish to noncryptocurrency followers, so let me translate: The estimated 111 million in Dogecoin that are suspected stolen are worth approximately 50,000 real U.S. dollars.

DogeVault.com has currently suspended services and stripped its site of everything but a brief statement on the hack:

On the 11th of May, the Doge Vault online wallet service was compromised by attackers, resulting in a service disruption and tampering with wallet funds.
As soon as the administrator of Doge Vault was alerted, the service was halted. The attackers had already accessed and destroyed all data on the hosted virtual machines.
We are currently in the process of identifying the extent of the attack and potential impact on user's funds. This involves salvaging existing wallet data from an off-site backup. We will also closely be investigating potential attack vectors, and determining the security breach which enabled the attacker's to compromise the service.
Please do not transfer any funds to Doge Vault addresses while our investigation is under way. Thank you for your patience - we will issue an additional statement including our findings and plan of action within the next 24-48 hours.
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Dogecoin users suffered a similar, if smaller, scare in December when another storage system called Dogewallet confirmed a hack that leached an estimated 21 million Dogecoins, or $12,000, away from users. Several hacking attempts have also been made on bitcoin wallets, one of which cost users $1.2 million, and cryptocurrency experts have cautioned over and over against storing the coins online.

The latest attack may prove especially devastating to Dogecoin's image. With its Shiba Inu logo and Comic Sans–loving Reddit forum, Dogecoin has worked to position itself as the fun and friendly cryptocurrency. It trades at a fraction of the price of bitcoin and in general attracts a less intense community. But when $50,000 worth of the stuff disappears overnight, even the most laid-back doge could get rattled.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

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