The hack illustrates a major problem with Bitcoin - while the network itself is seen as nearly unhackable, the exchanges that many people rely on to store their money are vulnerable.
Hackers may have gotten away with $60 million worth of bitcoin after a cyber attack hit the cryptocurrency mining platform NiceHash. Given that Bitcoin is now trading at over $13,000, that put the value of this heist in excess of $62 million.
In November, millions of dollars worth of Ethereum were "accidentally" frozen on the cryptocurrency wallet provider Parity after a user "suicided" the wallet, deleting its code and freezing all ether tokens contained within.
NiceHash, a company that mines bitcoins on behalf of customers, said Thursday it is investigating a security breach and will stop operating for 24 hours while it verifies how many bitcoins were taken.
There was no immediate response from NiceHash to an emailed request for more details. "In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency", it said.
Nicehash is further recommending that users of its internal wallets change all of their online passwords (especially any that were similar to the one they used on the site) as a precaution.
The price of bitcoin surged to 487,505 baht at 4.30pm, gaining more than 20% in less than a day, according to Google Finance.
Bitcoin has proved popular with currency traders, going on a massive bull run in 2017. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously.
NiceHash is a digital currency marketplace that matches people looking to sell processing time on their computers in exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.
Online security is a vital concern for such dealings. Besides the fact that blockchain technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is secure and trustworthy, the startups in the industry are still struggling to secure their websites from hackers.
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