Bit­coin tanks af­ter ex­change breach

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

A MA­JOR Hong Kong-based Bit­coin ex­change has sus­pended trad­ing af­ter US$65 mil­lion in the vir­tual unit was re­port­edly stolen by hack­ers – send­ing the digital cur­rency plung­ing more than 20 per­cent.

Bitfinex said it had sus­pended all transactions af­ter dis­cov­er­ing that some users’ Bitcoins had been taken.

“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 state­ment on Aug 2.

The value of the of­ten-volatile cur­rency plunged yes­ter­day to as low as $482.82 from $603.06 be­fore ris­ing to $539.53 yes­ter­day.

The breach is the lat­est blow to digital currencies af­ter The New York Times re­ported in June that hack­ers di­verted more than $50 mil­lion from an ex­per­i­men­tal fund of another plat­form that trades Ether, a sim­i­lar unit to Bit­coin.

But the biggest case was in 2014, when the Tokyo-based Mt Gox trad­ing ex­change, then the largest in the world, de­clared bank­ruptcy when hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in Bitcoins van­ished or were stolen.

The com­pany ad­mit­ted 850,000 coins – worth around $480 mil­lion at the time – had dis­ap­peared from its digital vaults.

The col­lapse left a trail of an­gry in­vestors call­ing for an­swers and dent­ing the vir­tual cur­rency’s rep­u­ta­tion the world over.

Bitcoins are gen­er­ated by com­plex chains of in­ter­ac­tions among a huge net­work of com­put­ers around the planet, and are not backed by any gov­ern­ment or cen­tral bank, un­like tra­di­tional currencies.

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