Bitfinex Confirms Stolen Bitcoin, Suspends Trading; Price Crashes

Samburaj Das @sambdas
August 2, 2016 23:47 UTC

Prominent Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has announced that it has halted all trading on its platform while investigating a breach that has seen customers lose their funds due to theft.

Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has halted all trading on its platform, including all deposits and withdrawals. An announcement on its website has confirmed that Bitfinex users have had their bitcoins stolen, while the exchange investigates the security breach.

No figures on the stolen bitcoin or the number of users impacted have been revealed yet.

The statement read:

We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen. We are undertaking a review to determine which users have been affected by the breach. While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, Bitfinex.com will be taken down and the maintenance page will be left up.

Notably, only bitcoin wallets were impacted by theft, with the security breach not affecting any of the other digital tokens traded on the exchange. Still, the exchange’s current offline status affects all digital currencies traded on the exchange, including bitcoin.

In an effort to normalize account balances in order to resume operations, Bitfinex added:

As we account for individualized customer losses, we may need to settle open margin positions, associated financing, and/or collateral affected by the breach. Any settlements will be at the current market prices as of 18:00 UTC.

Bitcoin Price Nosedives

Bitcoin price fell in the aftermath of the news, falling soon after the pre-imposed settlement price time of 18:00. Bitcoin was trading at $601.78 around the 18:00 UTC mark on the Bitstamp Price Index (BPI) before a series of dramatic dips ensued, bringing bitcoin price to a low of $562.07 today.

The first decline came 10 minutes after 18:00, when price fell from $601.33 to $579.77 at the half-hour mark. A little over an hour later bitcoin was trading at $562.07.

A possible reason contributing to the falling price could be the possibility of the hacker or hackers looking to dump or sell the stolen bitcoins at a different exchange.

At the time of publishing, bitcoin was trading at $563.980.

Image credit: Shutterstock.

Last modified: August 3, 2016 04:52 UTC

Samburaj Das @sambdas

Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering financial and blockchain news. He has authored over 2,000 articles for CCN. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas