Hacked Bitstamp claims bulk of bitcoin ‘remains safe’
Tue 6 Jan 2015
Bitstamp, the trusted Slovenia-based exchange, has fallen victim to the first bitcoin hack of 2015, suspending its services after a suspected breach.
The company posted a warning on its website advising customers that there is “reason to believe that one of Bitstamp’s operational wallets was compromised on January 4th, 2015.” Bitstamp has said that its services have been suspended “as a security precaution,” however assures that it has stored enough cold bitcoin to cover the stolen amount, suspected to be less than 19,000 BTC.
The company warned customers to hold off any transactions, with an all caps message on its website: “IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE DEPOSITS TO PREVIOUSLY ISSUED BITCOIN DEPOSIT ADDRESSES. THEY CANNOT BE HONORED!”
It is yet to be made clear when Bitstamp’s services will resume. “We will return to service and amend our security measures as appropriate,” the company added in the notice.
Alarm was first raised on Hacker News after a number of customers received an email from Bitstamp, followed by website updates, the latest reading:
CEO, Nejc Kodric has issued an apology over Twitter and hopes to confirm an estimated time for a renewed service shortly:
Bitcoin peaked at $1,000 per coin on the Mt.Gox exchange in November 2013, but over the course of last year saw a steady decline – currently valued at approximately $270. As Quartz reported, this marks an even worse performance than the struggling Russian Ruble.
2014 saw great instability for Bitcoin. Among other struggles, Mt.Gox imploded at the start of the year and Silk Road 2 lost more than $2mn in bitcoin following a hack in February. However, these troubles have served to highlight cryptocurrency’s vulnerability, and have made the industry even more aware of the security of its services – Bitstamp claims that it has kept “the bulk of [its] bitcoin […] in cold storage, and remain completely safe.”