Patricia, a Nigerian gift card and crypto trading platform, has been faced with a security breach, prompting immediate action to protect its users. As a precaution, the platform has suspended fund withdrawals.
In a statement, Patricia reported that Bitcoin (BTC) and naira assets had been compromised. It assured customers that other cryptocurrencies and customer funds were left untouched, however, withdrawals were temporarily halted as the platform was “undergoing internal restructuring.”
Although Patricia declined to reveal the extent of assets affected in the breach, it revealed that one individual from the syndicated group responsible for the breach had been identified, with help from law enforcement. It also shared that it is currently working with law enforcement and other partners to recover the assets.
The news of the suspension of withdrawals on the platform has caused discontent among users, who have taken to Twitter to voice their frustration. Nevertheless, Patricia is doing its best to improve the security of the platform, enlisting the services of a security firm to conduct an audit. Once the affected arm of the business – Patricia Personal – has passed the audit, customers will be able to withdraw their funds.
In February, a Nigerian fintech company, Flutterwave, was allegedly exploited for nearly 2.9 billion nairas ($6.3 million). Following this incident, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) flagged bank accounts in an effort to track down the perpetrators. The CBN does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, and in February 2021 it banned commercial banks in Nigeria from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions. This was in response to the increasing risk of criminal and fraudulent crypto activities, with the aim of protecting citizens.