Chinese Bitcoin exchange Bter hacked, $1.75 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen

Bitcoin by zcopley on Flickr
Credit: zcopley / Flickr

Even as Bitcoin is starting to shake things up in the US, all is not well in the cryptocurrency world. China-based Bitcoin exchange Bter was hacked on Valentine’s Day and $1.75 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen.

The company hasn’t revealed much about the breach, except that 7,170 BTC was taken from its cold (offline) wallet on February 14 via a single transaction (link) and that the platform is suspending operations until further notice.

The company has offered a bounty of 720 BTC – about $170,000 – for the retrieval of the stolen currency. It says it will arrange withdrawals of unaffected funds at a later date.

This is the second major Bitcoin hack in the past two months. Slovenian exchange Bitstamp lost about $5 million worth of currency in January but has since resumed service. More positively, Coinbase launched the first US Bitcoin exchange last month, ahead of the launch of Lunar, a competitor backed by the Winklevoss twins.

It’s likely that this year’s debate around Bitcoin will center more on security than whether businesses or individuals choose to adopt the currency.

Bter

Image credit: Zach Copley

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