Exclusive: Trade.io CEO Talks Forbes Partnership, Mysterious Wallet Hack

$7.5 million "completely inaccurate" because only a small amount of it was sold on.

Swiss blockchain company Trade.io has collaborated with Forbes Media and an NY private investment firm to launch a new data-driven portal that offers comprehensive tracking of cryptocurrencies.

The new portal, called ‘Forbes CryptoMarkets,’ will provide real-time pricing and volume information of thousands of cryptocurrencies, tokens, blockchain projects, as well as new benchmarks.

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Trade.io is emerging with this high-profile partnership, but the Switzerland-based startup is still licking its wounds after it suffered a hack of one of its cold wallets only 24 hours before the publication went live. The incident resulted in the loss of around 50 Million TIO tokens, worth nearly $7.5 million.

Trade.io management said on Monday that it is considering a fork of the TIO codebase to generate a similar ERC-20 token under the ticker TIOx. Details of the fork, which mainly aims to render the stolen tokens useless, are expected to be released soon.

In a short interview, trade.io CEO Jim Preissler told Finance Magnates that he firmly believes that Forbes CryptoMarkets will become the primary place for all things crypto, including market/token analysis, blockchain news, and a place for crypto companies to be seen and heard.

Jim Preissler, the CEO of trade.io, a blockchain financial institution
Jim Preissler, CEO at trade.io
Source: LinkedIn

Preissler also clarified that the initiative is an equity partnership where the company holds a financial stake in “the success of Forbes CryptoMarkets.” He added that a portion of the revenue trade.io earns as a result of the deal will go towards its liquidity pool. It was from the liquidity pool that the money was stolen.

Trade.io CEO also provided a fresh heads-up about the security breach.

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How does Trade.io puts this partnership in context after the theft of $7.5 million worth of TIO tokens?

To set the record straight, the $7.5M figure that has been reported is completely inaccurate.  50M TIO that belonged to the company were taken from a wallet in cold storage.  Due to the quick action of our security team, of those 50M TIO, only 1M +/- were sold on the open market.  Based on the average price of approximately $.23 per TIO, that’s roughly $230,000.  The remaining 49M +/- TIO have been accounted for and were not sold in the open market.  Additionally, our security team feels strongly they will be able to recover even the proceeds of the 1M TIO, so as a result, again, the total monetary loss will be at worst approximately $230,000.

With regards to the partnership, we feel it speaks volumes about trade.io’s status and position in the crypto space.  While still a very young company, we were able to catch the eye of a Fortune 500 company, no doubt due to our reputation and the experience of our management team.”

Did you have any issues with Forbes, given that the hack happened less than 24 hours before the publication went live?

“With crypto, even using best practices, there can be challenges.  It’s about how the team and partners responded to quickly take action and protect the community and minimize the risk.

Given the decentralized nature of blockchain, unfortunately, breaches have happened to even the largest, most well-capitalized companies.  As a company, you simply have to do your best to learn from any mistakes that may have occurred, make sure your clients are taken care of, and move on.  One thing is for sure, an incident like this certainly doesn’t define trade.io and doesn’t diminish all the positive attributes that were seen in our company when deciding to make trade.io part of Forbes CryptoMarkets.”

Could you provide us with an update about your investigation? Did any suspicious activity take place on the inside?

“While we can’t reveal too much due to the fact it’s an ongoing investigation, as stated earlier, we were fortunate to have necessary protocols in place to prevent the issue from becoming much worse from a monetary standpoint.  There is no reason to believe at this point it was an internal breach, and indications are the bad actor was an external party.  What I can tell you is that we’re very happy to have had the support of many parties in the industry, and it’s a true testament of the camaraderie of companies in the blockchain space.”

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