The blockchain community is hit by hackers yet again! This time Hong Kong based cryptocurrencies exchange Bitfinex has suffered a major loss leading the value of Bitcoin to plunge.
Bitfinex has replaced its normal website with a somber note saying it experienced a data breach forcing it to halt all trading, deposits and withdrawals. The exchange’s representative, Zane Tackett, has subsequently confirmed on social media that “the loss from the hack stands at 119,756btc.” At a price level of $640 the missing funds would be worth about $65 million.
The Bitcoin exchange rate did not stay at $640 however, dropping to as low as $480 overnight before recovering some of the losses, and is now trading around $540. At present the attack vector taken by the hackers remains unclear and will be one of the key questions if the money is to be recovered.
Bitfinex also informed traders: “The theft is being reported to — and we are co-operating with — law enforcement.”
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Commenting on the situation and how it affects trading, Charles Hayter, the CEO of CryptoCompare.com, explains: “BitFinex is the largest exchange by volume on the BTC-USD pair representing about 50% of volume. Volume on the BTC-USD Pair is usually around 30-60k BTC per day. Today the trailing 24 hour volume is over 150k BTC.”
He added this about the cryptocurrencies exchanges industry: “Market shares are already shifting with Bitstamp resuming its dominant position with a 14% market share – although this is closely followed by BTCe and Coinbase both with 13% of the market each.”
Last year BitFinex teamed up with BitGo on multisignature wallets after a previous hack that caused a loss of $40,000.