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Patricia suffers massive losses in crypto assets after security breach



Patricia, one of Nigeria’s leading crypto marketplaces, has experienced a severe security breach that compromised its financial assets.

The incident has prompted the company to take urgent steps to safeguard its user base and enhance its security framework.

As a result of this unforeseen cyberattack, withdrawals have been put on hold as part of an ongoing internal restructuring to upgrade the platform’s security features.

Since last week, Patricia’s retail trading app suspended user withdrawals, citing a breach in an email sent to customers.

The company specified that only its retail application, Patricia, was affected by the breach and asserted its intention to pursue legal action.

Based on information from credible sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the breach occurred in January 2022, resulting in a $2 million loss for the company. Nairametrics cannot independently confirm this.

Official View

Patricia issued a statement stating the breach was in its retail trading applications, Patricia’s Personal

  • “Our services are divided into three arms: Patricia Personal, Patricia OTC Desk, and Patricia Business. Not long ago, we were victims of a breach. Patricia Personal, the retail trading application, was solely affected by this breach; BTC and Naira assets were compromised. Every other crypto balance remains unaffected, and we assure the public that all our customers’ and merchants’ assets are secure.”

The breach, allegedly orchestrated by a syndicate, has raised concerns about Patricia’s financial stability, particularly putting its Bitcoin and naira assets at risk.

Although the exact magnitude of the affected assets remains undisclosed, Patricia collaborated with law enforcement to identify the individuals involved in the breach, with a breakthrough stemming from the compromise of Naira assets, most of which were reportedly associated with a particular individual.

What Patricia is doing?

To restore normal operations and rebuild customer confidence, Patricia has engaged the services of a reputable security firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of its operations.

  • The review primarily focuses on Patricia Personal, the retail arm of the company implicated in the breach.
  • Once the review is completed and subsequently approved by Patricia Personals, customer withdrawals are expected to resume.
  • The company also issued a press release on Nairametrics explaining what happened.

This recent breach experienced by Patricia underscores the challenging landscape of cybersecurity that Nigerian fintech companies must navigate.

Likely Implications

It is worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender and has consistently opposed the integration of the country’s banking sector with cryptocurrency trading.

  • However, Patricia’s incident highlights the increasing necessity for enhanced security measures among Nigerian crypto exchanges.
  • Overall, Patricia’s recent security breach and subsequent financial losses underscore the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures for Nigerian crypto exchanges.
  • The incident serves as a reminder for companies in the fintech sector to prioritize security and protect their users’ assets in an evolving digital landscape.

About Patricia

Patricia aspires to lead Africa into the digital age through technology, innovation, and payment solutions. The company describes itself as a “technology-driven alternative payments platform that offers retailers and consumers new digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies.”

  • Established in 2017, Patricia has experienced substantial growth and maintains offices across multiple continents.
  • Furthermore, Patricia is renowned for its sponsorship of the popular Nigerian reality show, ‘Big Brother Naija,’ which attracts millions of viewers worldwide.

Just like most startups the company is in the process of corporate downsizing with more staff scheduled to be laid off this year. Nairametrics understand the company has an estimated 160 employees.