At time of writing, all trading at Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Bter.com has halted. The reason? The usual.
7170 BTC Missing
Bter has released no further details than the above screenshot indicates, as of yet. The transaction they are pointing to took place around 4:30 this morning (CST), which was about 6PM in Beijing. The exchange must have gone offline as soon as the missing funds were noticed, as this report is being written only a few hours after the fact.
The initial receiving address of the coins was 18ywz63JuUjsQ9kWyKs48dnRd2w1Hix7FY. Wisely, the address was only used for this transaction and the coins have since moved on. 1,000 of the coins wound up in the address 1J4TJQKgh1phPMcsV8cbRkAhV2Q6V8wW25 and still reside there at time of writing.
Bitcoin Price Fluctuations
Those trading on other markets in the early hours of Sunday may have noticed the price reached nearly $270 at one point. If these coins are allowed onto other exchanges and dumped for USD, we can expect to lose precious, only recently regained ground in the Bitcoin fiat valuation.
Any way you look at it, this volume of coins going rogue will spell instability for the rest of us. Whoever the thief is, wherever they reside, they’re going to be affecting dozens of thousands of people today and for the foreseeable future.
720 BTC Reward
As you know, 720 BTC is about 10% of the missing coins, and is the amount Bter is willing to pay for their safe return. Perhaps the recipient of the coins will see this as a just reward for his ingenuity and return the coins in order to receive them. At time of writing, this would equal around $175,000 USD.