Hackers Steal $65 Million in Bitcoin From Hong Kong Exchange

Hong Kong-based Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges has revealed that hackers stole about $65 million of the digital currency, resulting in the exchange now going offline while they investigate the breach.

On late Tuesday, Hong Kong-based bitcoin and digital currency exchange Bitfinex revealed a massive breach of nearly 120,000 bitconi, approximately $65 million in current exchange rates. Bitfinex is among the largest exchanges in the world with offices in Europe and the United States and offers a platform to trade and exchange digital currencies such as bitcoin and ether.

The exchange’s website is also suspended temporarily.

“Today we discovered a security breach that requires us to halt all trading on Bitfinex, as well as halt all digital token deposits to and withdrawals from Bitfinex,” a statement read. “We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen.”

Bloomberg quoted Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of San Francisco-based digital currency exchange Coinbase, who stated that “a large breach”. Representatives from Bitfinex also told the publication that hackers took 119,756 bitcoin, or about $65 million at current prices.

The Hong Kong exchange was notable the largest for USD-denominated transactions over the past month. Altogether, over $1.5 billion has been wiped from bitcoin’s market capitalization this week alone.

The company has reported the breach and the theft to law enforcement. It plans on going through customers’ losses individually through their accounts, noting that it may need to settle open margin positions, collateral and associated financing affected as a result of the breach.

The Bitfinex attack is similar to that of Tokyo-based now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. The Asian exchange filed for bankruptcy in early 2014 after hackers stole a reported $650 million worth of customer bitcoins.

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