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Bitcoin plumments after exchanged attacked by hackers

August 3, 2016

The digital currency has taken a dive after the Hong Kong-based exchange platform Bitfinex was hacked. It's only the latest scandal to affect the bitcoin community in recent years.

Bitcoin-Kurs bricht nach Hack gegen Tauschbörse Bitfinex ein
Image: picture alliance/AP Photo/M. Lennihan

Hackers stole around $65 million (58 million euros) worth of bitcoin after targeting the popular exchange platform on Tuesday, sparking renewed concerns about the security of the so-called "cryptocurrency."

Nearly 120,000 units of bitcoin were stolen, causing the digital currency to plunge to 13 percent, according to Bloomberg.

Bitfinex, the Hong Kong exchange platform that was targeted, said it hadn't decided how to address customers' losses.

The hack brought to light once more concerns about the security of the web-based currency. Last year, Bitfinex announced it was working with BitGo, a Palo Alto-based bitcoin security platform, which uses multiple signatures in order to securely store customers' deposits online.

Second-biggest hack

The company commented about the breach on Twitter, insisting there was no evidence of a breach to its security system.

Authorities are still looking into whether the hack was an outside attack or an inside job.

The breach was reminiscent of another hack that took place in 2014, when Mt Gox, a bitcoin exchange platform based in Tokyo, was attacked, leading to a loss of about $500 million worth of currency.

At the time the largest bitcoin exchange platform in the world, Mt Gox was forced to file for bankruptcy not long after the attack.

Bitcoin has generated controversy since its inception in 2008, largely due to its alleged use by criminals in the global black market. The true identity of its shadowy inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, is still under dispute.

blc/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)