21 October 2016

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Bloomberg: Bitcoin sinks after hackers steal $65 mln from exchange

Bitcoin plunged after one of the largest exchanges halted trading because hackers stole about $65 million of the digital currency, Bloomberg reported.


Bitcoin slumped 5.5% against the dollar as of 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Tokyo, bringing its two-day drop to 13%, according to the report.

Prices also sank 6.2% on Monday, although it was not clear if that initial move was related to the hack.

Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex said Tuesday it halted trading, withdrawals and deposits after discovering the security breach. The exchange said it was still investigating details and cooperating with law enforcement, but acknowledged some bitcoins were stolen from its users, according to Bloomberg. 

"Yes - it is a large breach," Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency wallet and trading platform, wrote in an e-mail.

"Bitfinex is a large exchange, so it is a significant short term event, although Bitcoin has shown its resiliency to these sorts of events in the past," the report said.

Bitfinex confirmed in a message to Bloomberg News on Wednesday that the hackers took 119,756 bitcoin, or about $65 million at current prices. While trading was halted in all digital currencies, including ethereum, the exchange said losses were limited only to bitcoin. It also said U.S. dollar deposits were not impacted, Bloomberg said.

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