Bitcoin’s price fell sharply by about six percent Wednesday after the digital currency exchange Bitfinex announced a serious security breach resulting in the theft of nearly $65 million worth of bitcoin.
The Hong Kong-based exchange said Tuesday it was halting all trading, withdrawals and deposits till the breach is fixed. The exchange released a statement saying investigations were underway to determine how the breach happened and how many users were affected by it.
“We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen… While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, bitfinex.com will be taken down and the maintenance page will be left up,” the exchange said in the statement, “The theft is being reported to — and we are co-operating with — law enforcement.”
Bitfinex Director of Community and Product Development Zane Tackett said in a reddit thread that only bitcoins were stolen in the hack and added that the exchange was evaluating its options for addressing customer losses. “At this time we don't have any details that we can share on this, nor have we made any decisions regarding this. We'll continue to push out updates on this as information becomes available,” he said.
Bitfinex told Bloomberg in an email that the hackers stole 119,756 bitcoins, worth about $65 million at current prices. The price of bitcoin fell by about six percent Monday, and after the hack was revealed on Tuesday, it has plunged another 13 percent since.