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Bitcoin exchange hit with $61 million theft

Hackers have compromised the Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex, the company announced today, withdrawing roughly $61 million from various consumer accounts. The causes of the breach are still unclear, but the attackers appear to have bypassed Bitfinex’s mandated limits on withdrawals.

“The theft is being reported to — and we are co-operating with — law enforcement,” the statement reads. “We ask for the community’s patience as we unravel the causes and consequences of this breach.”

Bitfinex halted trading at 2pm GMT in order to stop further thefts, and users can check the public blockchain to see if their own accounts were affected. On Reddit, Bitfinex community director Zane Tackett estimated the value of the theft at 119,756 bitcoin, or roughly $61 million at current exchange rates. It’s unclear whether Bitfinex can sustain a loss of that magnitude, although it’s still possible some or all of the funds could be recovered.

“We are focused on tracing the coins and working with the relevant authorities at this time,” Tackett said in another thread.


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