Bitfinex breach limited to Bitcoin wallets

[Bit]coin flipping: Over $60 million worth of Bitcoins stolen from exchange giant

Gabriela Motroc
Bitfinex

Green and purple bitcoin key image via Shutterstock

The trading platform of Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex is now offline after almost 120,000 bitcoins have been stolen from Bitcoin wallets. Bitcoin price plunged following the hack.

Hong Kong digital currency exchange Bitfinex’s trading platform is still offline after almost 120,000 bitcoins have been stolen from Bitcoin wallets, Zane Tackett, a Bitfinex executive told Reuters earlier today. The company announced in a blog post that trading, deposits, as well as withdrawals have been momentarily suspended. “While we are halting all operations at this time, we can confirm that the breach was limited to bitcoin wallets,” the digital currency exchange revealed.

The company assured its clients that the breach is being investigated and they are undertaking a review to find out which users have had their bitcoins stolen. “Any settlements will be at the current market prices as of 18.00 UTC. We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation,” Bitfinex added.

Bitcoin price plunges after Bitfinex hack

After news that hackers attacked the popular cryptocurrency exchange circumnavigated the world, Bitcoin price dropped nearly 20 percent as investors feared other digital currency exchanges may be next. Bitcoin price fell to $560, $530, $480 and then started to regain its strength. At the time of writing, one bitcoin is worth $545.

The hack may have ignited fears of uncertainty, especially since the results of the halving have not surfaced yet.

Secure your Bitcoin wallet now

Many people now turn to personal wallets for fear of a new exchange hack. Bitcoin.org warns that people who own bitcoins should be wary of any service designed to store their money online, especially since there have been a lot of breaches lately and these services fail to provide “enough insurance and security to be used to store money like a bank.”

The website offers a few pieces of advice regarding how to protect your Bitcoin wallet such as: backup and encrypt your wallet, keep your software up-to-date and don’t forget about the multi-signature feature which allows a transaction to require multiple independent approvals to be spent. Read more about how to secure your wallet here.

Bitfinex is the latest digital currency exchange to suffer a security breach this year; Gatecoin and ShapeShift are just a couple of exchanges that were targeted earlier this year. Four months ago, the Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange warned its clients to stop deposits while it investigated a suspected hack; Bitfinex said in an official statement that the keys to its hot wallet “might have been compromised. Although this incident is unfortunate, its scale is small and will be fully absorbed by the company,” they added.

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is an online editor for JAXenter.com. Before working at S&S Media she studied International Communication Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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