Somewhere in the neighborhood of $72 million, measured in bitcoin, has been stolen from Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex, reports Reuters.
It is the second-biggest security breach ever of a bitcoin exchange. The record belongs to Mt. Gox, a Japanese-based exchange that went bust in 2014.
The total number of bitcoin stolen is reportedly near 120,000, with the volume amounting to approximately 0.75 percent of all bitcoin in circulation.
The world’s largest dollar-based bitcoin exchange told Reuters that they had reported the crime to law enforcement and were working with top blockchain analytic firms to go after the stolen bitcoin.
Bitfinex director of community and product development Zane Tackett told the news outlet that 119, 756 bitcoin had been stolen from users’ segregated wallets. The bitcoin exchange had not yet decided how to address customer losses, said Tackett.
In June of last year, Bitfinex announced a new bitcoin settlement and security architecture that, for the first time ever, allowed for complete segregation of all bitcoins of customers. Based on digital asset security platform BitGo’s multi-signature technology, the Bitfinex exchange then offered individual multi-sig wallets for each customer, allowing traders to confirm funds on the blockchain for total transparency while retaining institutional-grade security.
At 11:00 UTC August 3, Bitfinex announced on the homepage of their website that they were working to reinstate limited functionality in a secure environment and that the full functionality will come in progressive stages afterwards.
“The first step is bringing the site online and allowing users to login and view the state of their accounts. Note that initially trading, deposits, withdrawals, and other core site functionality will be disabled,” says Bitfinex on its website.
“To accommodate the relaunch, all withdrawals, open orders, and open funding offers will be canceled. Furthermore, in order to compute losses for relevant parties, settlement of all financed positions will occur in all accounts. Margin positions for all pairs will be settled and closed using the following prices, representing the midpoint of the bid and ask on August 2, 2016 at 18:00:00 UTC:
Bitfinex further says on its website that more announcements regarding the next steps of the relaunch will be posted on the site as progress is made, with all important changes to feature availability being announced in advance.
Bitcoin image – Public domain image by Satoshi (Source)
BitGo logo – Via their press kit