Your Favorite Meme Project is 16 Trillion Coins Short

In a recent announcement, one of the PEPE founders claimed that three former project contributors stole almost $16 million worth of PEPE coins. According to the statement, 16 trillion tokens were withdrawn, which accounts for 60% of the 26 trillion multisig tokens. After the ex-team members had transferred crypto to several crypto exchanges, they left the remaining founder to deal with this sudden crypto crisis.

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Pepe Coin

Illustration: L. T.

What Happened to $PEPE?

PEPE is the most popular meme coin launched on the Ethereum blockchain. It didn’t take long for the project to gain traction, and soon after PEPE appeared on the trading scene, it became one of the most traded and beloved cryptos of 2023.

However, Pepe started losing its sparkle in June, when its price plummeted over 70% after peaking at $0.000004213 at the beginning of May. Although PEPE has a robust community that still believes in its potential, the drama around the recent rug pull speculations doesn’t go in favor of its full recovery.

On August 26, a person claiming to be the last founder involved in the project shared an apology/announcement on X, providing more insight into what’s happened with the PEPE multisig (multi-signature) wallet.

The remaining founder explained that a series of unexpected transactions occurred on August 24, resulting in a withdrawal of 16 trillion PEPE coins. At the time, the stolen treasure amounted to roughly $15.7, and all coins were sold through several exchanges, including KuCoin and Binance.

After stealing a whopping $15.7 million, the ex-members responsible for this catastrophe “removed themselves from the multi sig in an attempt to absolve any association to PEPE, deleting all of their social accounts and leaving me [the founder] behind nothing but a message stating ‘the multi-sig has been updated, you are now in full control.’”


I am shocked at what took place and would like to apologize for all of the fear and uncertainty and any losses the actions of these bad actors have caused members of our community. The CEX-wallet tokens were never meant to be sold on the market or for the team to profit from. Had I been in charge myself the whole time, I would’ve made some donations and burned the majority of the cex wallet long ago. I can assure you that the control of this Twitter account as well as the remaining 10 trillion tokens in the multi-sig are safe and in control of someone who has the best interests for everybody and $PEPE at hand, inaccessible by the nefarious ex team-members.

An anonymous PEPE founder shared this on X.

Still, many doubt the legitimacy of this apology. On-chain sleuths were the first to discover the indicators of a rug pull, and the community was in the dark for two days before the founder spoke up and apologized for the recent events. Although this is a low blow to the founder, taking this much time to address the issues does seem kinda fishy.

As you can imagine, PEPE’s price plummeted, and this precious meme coin is currently trading at $0.000008364. But despite the unfortunate events, the founder is still eager to make up for the losses and make PEPE a fully decentralized project by burning all of the remaining coins controlled by the project.

$PEPE chart

Source: CoinMarketCap

The founder concluded this lengthy statement by saying that they would like $PEPE “to be left in a position where it can stand and thrive as strong as ever in a truly decentralized and anti-fragile state.”

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.