Finance

Crypto-mining website NiceHash goes offline after hackers empty Bitcoin wallet

Crypto-mining website NiceHash goes offline after hackers empty Bitcoin wallet

CoinDesk revealed that the NiceHash wallet contained 4,736 BTC - about $60 million.

They came up with that estimate by looking at the total amount sitting in a recently-created bitcoin wallet, which some company users have suggested belongs to the hacker.

Slovenia-based NiceHash said in a statement posted on its website that it had halted operations for 24 hours as it investigated the breach.

Cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash said the contents of its bitcoin wallet had been stolen in a security breach and one executive said almost $64 million had been lost.

Site operators said they are still working to evaluate the total number of Bitcoin funds that were stolen, but users who had earnings stolen said Bitcoin funds were rerouted to a wallet address now storing 4,736.42 Bitcoin - over $62,6 million at today's Bitcoin price ($13,450).

The company has confirmed that hackers have managed to steal some Bitcoins, although they have not given any details on how many.

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The site said it was still working to figure out exactly how many bitcoins were taken.

The hack illustrates a major problem with Bitcoin - while the network itself is seen as nearly unhackable, the exchanges that many people rely on to store their money are vulnerable. Many are also expressing regret about choosing to direct their mining earnings to the NiceHash wallet instead of their personal one.

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, "cryptocurrency" - a decentralised tradable digital asset. It is now working with the relevant authorities and law enforcement "as a matter of urgency" to investigate the breach.

The NiceHash team urged users to change their online passwords as a result of the breach and subsequent theft.

The incident brings back the memories of the 2014 implosion of the "mtGox" Bitcoin marketplace which lead to losses of millions of dollars.

NiceHash permits crypto mining rig proprietors to offer their hashing power on a commercial center, which sees them win Bitcoin at customary interims.


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