Nearly $72 million—equivalent to 120,000 units of digital currency Bitcoin—was stolen from the Bitfinex exchange platform in Hong Kong. This marks the second major security breach of a Bitcoin exchange in recent years.
Bitfinex is known as the largest dollar-based exchange platform for Bitcoin. The theft has already been reported to the authorities, and they are currently in talks with blockchain analytic companies in an effort to track the stolen currency.
Director of Community and Product Development for Bitfinex, Zane Tackett has told the press that the company has yet to decide how they will address the losses customers have incurred due to this breach. They confirm, however, that the Bitcoin was indeed stolen from users’ segregated wallets.
The amount stolen is estimated to be 0.75 percent of the Bitcoins currently in circulation. The Wall Street Journal sites this Bitfinex breach as “one of the largest thefts in bitcoin’s short history.” Since news of the theft broke out, the value of Bitcoin dropped by over 20 percent.
Earlier this year, Ethereum, another form of virtual currency, was also hacked.