The very real theft of virtual currency exchange sites

The BitStamp platform announced Monday, January 5, that it fell victim to a hack and the theft of most of its bitcoin reserves the day before.

The loot totaled 19,000 bitcoins, or about 4.3 million euros. BitStamp, one of the main platforms for exchanging this anonymous, decentralized virtual currency that is increasingly popular with online services, announced Monday, January 5, after it was hacked and most of its assets were stolen the day before. victims of its reserves.

The company suspended its services “temporarily”, while making it clear that “deposits to date are fully secured by [its] reserves, as will all deposits that will be made at the new address”.

Bitcoin price dropped 12%
At the same time, BitStamp had to admit to losing 19,000 bitcoins, or more than 10% of its reserves, by some estimates. While news from the company promised that most of the site’s reserves were safe, the hacker’s announcement caused the price of bitcoin to drop from 266 euros to 236 euros in two days, a drop of about 12 percent.

Indeed, BitStamp is not just any platform: out of the dozens of services that exist, the site is considered second or third in the field.

Ironically, Bitstamp rose to the top of the exchange list following the collapse of another Mt. Gox that closed in 2013. The platform claims to have suffered a massive hack. She was the undisputed leader of the Bitcoin market at the time, and she controlled two-thirds of the market. Nearly 850,000 bitcoins were stolen, according to the company, which also allegedly organized its own fraudulent bankruptcy. The drop in Mt. Gox sparked a sharp drop in price, but soon other platforms took their place and virtual currency trading came back to life.

Founded by two Slovenian students, BitStamp jumped into the void left by the disappearance of Mt. Gox. Within a few months, the company controlled about 10 percent of bitcoin exchanges, and its two founders became millionaires. After the fall of Mt. Cox, in order to reassure users, the company set up an independent audit and made the audit results public. In May 2014, a former Google employee checked its reserves and confirmed that the service held more than 183,000 bitcoins, or about 80 million euros at the time.

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