Hackers Swipe $70 Million in Bitcoin Days Before Major US Exchange Opens

Galtero Lara
Diciembre 7, 2017

Digital currency Bitcoin continued its upwards trajectory, hitting a new record high above $15,000, despite a major hack which saw millions of dollars worth of the digital currency stolen on Thursday. The company announced the security breach on their Facebook page telling customers that all operations have been paused for 24 hours.

Money reports that the Bitcoin mining service, NiceHash, is the recent victim of online hackers where suspects have broken away with $70 million worth of the currency.

NiceHash does not provide any estimates as to how many Bitcoins it thinks the criminal stole.

"The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency", NiceHash said in a statement, where it also urged users to change their online passwords.

The hack has put a spotlight on the security of bitcoins.Bitcoin has no central bank or regulatory authority backing it up.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on December 10, while CME Group Inc.'s contracts are set to debut on December 18.

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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.

Bitcoin touched US$15,000 for the first time on Thursday, extending its advance this month to more than 50 per cent as concerns mounted the cryptocurrency's rapid rise masks risks. "I do see Bitcoin prices potentially reaching $25,000 by early next year".

NiceHash is a digital currency marketplace that matches people looking to sell processing time on their computers in exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.

A debate is raging on the merits of such currencies. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed. The digital coins are stored in a digital wallet or on the cloud and can be used in transactions.

In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

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