Loss could be as high as 119,756 bitcoins (US$61 million at current exchange rates) says company exec
Posts on the Reddit social networking forum Tuesday indicate that the Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has halted trading following an alleged security breach by hackers that may have resulted in the theft of 119,756 bitcoins (around US$ 65 million at current exchange rates.)
Bitfinex director Zane Tackett was unable to clarify details of the breach, and especially how the hackers managed to get around the strict limits on withdrawals, but posted that his company was working with law enforcement on the theft
The company assured clients in a blog posting that clients would not lose out due to the breach, stating:
"As we account for individualized customer losses, we may need to settle open margin positions, associated financing, and/or collateral affected by the breach. Any settlements will be at the current market prices… We are taking this necessary accounting step to normalize account balances with the objective of resuming operations. We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation."
The magnitude of the theft has reportedly triggered a drop in the overall value of Bitcoin, with the cyber-currency trading down to $536 on Wednesday.
The Bitfinex theft is not the largest on record in the cyber currency – that remains with the Japan-based Mt. Gox which claimed in 2014 that it had lost $450 million following a security breach.
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