By Hannah Lang and Elizabeth Howcroft
(Reuters) – Stablecoin USDC’s issuer Circle said its chief strategy officer’s Twitter account was hacked on Wednesday, after the account posted a link appearing to offer holders of the stablecoin USDC a “one-time bonus” of free cryptocurrency.
The Twitter account of Dante Disparte, Circle’s chief strategy officer, sent a series of tweets appearing to address the stablecoin’s recent move away from its dollar peg.
One of the tweets – which is no longer visible – said that Circle “will be distributing a one-time bonus of USDC to all existing holders”.
“This bonus is our way of thanking you for your continued support and trust in USDC,” the tweet said.
That website contained a link which prompted users to “get USDC” by inputting the information for their crypto wallets.
A spokesperson for Circle told Reuters that Disparte’s account had been hacked. Circle’s official Twitter account said that Disparte’s account had been “taken over by a scammer”.
“Any link to offers are scams. We are investigating the situation and taking action accordingly,” Circle’s tweet said.
USDC hit a record low of $0.88 on March 11, according to CoinGecko data, far below its intended peg of 1:1 against the dollar. The fall was sparked by concerns about the exposure of Circle to Silicon Valley Bank, which U.S. regulators had shuttered the day before.
USDC and other cryptocurrencies stabilized after U.S. authorities announced plans to limit the fallout from the collapse of SVB and Circle said USDC remained redeemable with the dollar.
(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington and Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)