Friday, September 25, 2020
Home Business Bitcoin Worth Millions Stolen Days Before US Exchange Opens

Bitcoin Worth Millions Stolen Days Before US Exchange Opens

Bitcoins worth millions stolen, re-think before you invest in cryptocurrency!

A bitcoin mining company in Slovenia has been hacked for the possible theft of tens of millions of dollars, just days before the virtual currency, which hit a record above $15,000 on Thursday, is due to start trading on major U.S. exchanges.

NiceHash, a company that mines bitcoins on behalf of customers, said it is investigating a security breach and will stop operating for 24 hours while it verifies how many bitcoins were taken.

Research company Coindesk said that a wallet address referred to by NiceHash users indicates that about 4,700 bitcoins had been stolen. At Thursday’s record price of about $15,000, that puts the value at over $70 million.

There was no immediate response from NiceHash to an emailed request for more details.

“The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are cooperating with them as a matter of urgency,” it said. The statement urged users to change their online passwords.

Slovenian police are investigating the case together with authorities in other states, spokesman Bostjan Lindav said, without providing details.

The hack will put a spotlight on the security of bitcoin just as the trading community prepares for the currency to start trading on two established U.S. exchanges. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on crosstown rival CME Group’s platforms later in the month.

That has increased the sense among some investors that bitcoin is gaining in mainstream legitimacy after several countries, like China, tried to stifle the virtual currency.

As a result, the price of bitcoin has jumped in the past year, particularly so in recent weeks. On Thursday it surged to over $15,000, up $1,300 in less than a day, according to Coindesk. At the start of the year, one bitcoin was worth less than $1,000.

Bitcoin is the world’s most popular virtual currency. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously. They are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are traded.

A debate is raging on the merits of such currencies. Some say they serve merely to facilitate money laundering and illicit, anonymous payments. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed.

Miners of bitcoins and other virtual currencies help keep the systems honest by having their computers keep a global running tally of transactions. That prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice.

Online security is a vital concern for such dealings.

In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Mt. Gox shut down in February 2014, saying it lost about 850,000 bitcoins, possibly to hackers.

Ali Zerdin in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Carlo Piovano in London contributes to this story.(VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,140FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,776FollowersFollow

Most Popular

People Avoid Masks Due to Breathing Problems: Study

When it came to non-compliance towards covering the face, breathing problems have emerged as a key reason, with 50 percent listing it in a...

Women More Vulnerable to Uncurbed Diabetes

Traditionally, women play the role of caregivers in India when it comes to families and their health. They prioritize the health of their loved...

Australia Rescuing Helpless Beached Whales

Rescuers of Australia are trying to save scores of beached whales on the shore in the state of Tasmania. Earlier this week, a pod...

Hydroponic Farm Method Making its way in India

The rows of lettuce, microgreens, and herbs that Himanshu Aggarwal and his mother grow in an enclosed room in a busy New Delhi market...

Walmart Aims for Zero Global Emissions by 2040 

U.S.-based retail giant Walmart has unveiled new initiatives to reduce its global carbon footprint while preserving the world’s natural land and sea habitats. The company...

NASA Unveils Plan to Land First Woman on the Moon in 2024

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled a plan to land the first woman on the moon in 2024. NASA Administrator Jim...

42% of Indian Workers Use Personal Devices to Access Corporate Data

As the lines between work and home life get increasingly blurred, 42 per cent of workers in India are using personal devices to access...

Karan Kundra: Drugs are the Choice of an Individual, Not of an Industry

BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE Popular television actors Karan Kundra and Yogita Bihani feel the constant negative narratives that are lately doing the rounds about the entertainment...

Recent Comments