KuCoin’s Unnoticed Blunder: Millions in ETH Accidentally Sent to Ethereum’s Burn Address

Cryptocurrency Exchange Faces Scrutiny as Curious Transactions Raise Questions of Intentional Move or Serious Mistake

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Back in September 2021, something unexpected happened with cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin.

In a series of unusual transactions, the exchange sent a staggering amount of Ethereum (ETH), valued at tens of millions of dollars, to Ethereum’s burning address. Surprisingly, this serious error had gone unnoticed until now.

The man in charge of spotting the curiosity and telling the tale was Conor Grogan, current director of Coinbase, with data from on-chain analytics firm Arkham. “If you’ve ever wondered why the null address has so much ETH, now you know,” he wrote in his message.

Ethereum’s burn address, also known as a null address, is an address to which cryptocurrencies and tokens can be sent, but not withdrawn.

Thus, they are out of circulation, i.e., they are “burned”. At the close of this note, the null address has a balance of 11,721 ETH, which is equivalent to USD 22.3 million according to the CryptoNews price index.

KuCoin has not commented on the matter and it is still unknown if the transaction was intentional or if it was an accident.

“Perhaps they had a unique deal with Bitfinex to redeem USDT?” he wondered, referring to the stablecoin Tether (USDT). “However, I have no idea why they would burn ETH,” he added.

Beyond the motivations of the case, the point is that KuCoin conducted more than 3,500 transactions with ETH and USDT since September 7, 2021 and in the three days after.

KuCoin is, of course, expected to provide a detailed explanation of what happened. The lack of information left many puzzled and imagining about possible motivations behind this action. It is worth mentioning that KuCoin is the fourth largest exchange in the world in terms of trading volume, so this kind of events are enhanced by the fact that it is such a relevant company.

Very recently, in April, the exchange had suffered the hacking of its Twitter account. As reported by this portal, this led some users to fall into scams, with losses of approximately USD 22,000.


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