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Long-serving cryptocurrency exchange forced offline, hackers blamed

Cryptopia is as OG as cryptocurrency exchanges can get

One of the internet’s longest serving digital asset exchanges, Cryptopia, claims to have been hit by a debilitating hack.

After a full day of unscheduled maintenance outages, the NZ-based cryptocurrency exchange posted an official statement, explaining it had suffered “a security breach which resulted in significant losses.”

According to Cryptopia, both New Zealand police and its high tech crimes unit are jointly investigating the matter, which they are treating “as a major crime.”

Ominously, $2.4 million was removed from Cryptopia around the same time the outages began, reports CoinDesk, referencing a Twitter account that tracks notable amounts of cryptocurrency to and from exchanges.

A further $1.1 million in small-cap cryptocurrency, Centrality, was moved from the exchange just five minutes later.

For the past year, Cryptopia has seen an average total trade volume of just over a million dollars per day, making those amounts particularly suspicious.

Courtesy of Coinlib

Cryptopia is mostly known for its ridiculous amount of trading pairs, with the most recent data showing 1,095 different digital assets available for trade when it went offline.

If it’s indeed true that this is a major crime, then Cryptopia would be the latest addition to the long list of hacked cryptocurrency exchanges, a group that by halfway through last year had exceeded 30 members.

It would also mark what appears to be the first cryptocurrency exchange hack of the year. Hooray, I guess.

Published January 15, 2019 — 11:02 UTC

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