Bitcoin values have plummeted after a hack on one of the main exchanges. The incident at Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex wiped 20 per cent off the value of the virtual currency.
The Bitfinex website was closed down, and all exchanges were halted. This caused some panic in the community, and sent the value down fast.
"I can confirm that the loss from the hack stands at 119,756btc". @bitfinex. we really do need a decentralized exchange— sasha ivanov (@sasha35625) August 3, 2016
"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," the company said in a blog post.
"We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen. We are undertaking a review to determine which users have been affected by the breach.
"While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, bitfinex.com will be taken down and the maintenance page will be left up."
Bitfinex explained that the theft has been reported to law enforcement, and that the firm may need to settle open margin positions, associated financing, and/or collateral affected by the breach.
"We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation. While we are halting all operations at this time, we can confirm that the breach was limited to bitcoin wallets; the other digital tokens traded on Bitfinex are unaffected," the post added.
Largest heists in Bitcoin:— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) August 3, 2016
1) MtGox: 850,000 BTC
2) Silk Road: 171,955 BTC
3) @Bitfinex: 119,756 BTC
4) MyBitcoin: 78,739 BTC
Zane Tackett, director of community and product development at Bitfinex, said on Reddit that nearly 120,000 bitcoins were stolen.
"I can confirm that the loss from the hack stands at 119,756 bitcoins. We'll do everything we can to keep you guys up to date with what's happening and how we plan to address everything," he wrote.
The Bitfinex blog post added that any frozen accounts will be restored at the current market value. Our calculations suggest that 120,000 bitcoins is currently worth a whopping £50m, give or take a few luxury cars, and that this is a very hard loss for any company to bounce back from.
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