Cryptocurrency Miner, NiceHash, Gets Hacked, Loses $70 Million

Slovenian cryptocurrency company, NiceHash, was hacked on Wednesday, during which $70 million worth of customers’ bitcoin had been stolen. The breach occurred just a few days before the cryptocurrency surged past the $15 thousand mark and was supposed to start trading on major US exchanges.

NiceHash reported in a Facebook post that the entire contents of the company’s bitcoin wallet had been stolen,

“Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern, and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the comic days,” states NiceHash

The company also said they are conducting an internal investigation and have alerted law enforcement of the theft. They also urged users to change their online passwords as a safety measure as, according to NiceHash, the “full scope” of the incident is unknown.

While the cryptocurrency company didn’t specify how much bitcoin was stolen from its wallet, some of NiceHash’s customers think that an estimated 4.736 bitcoin total were stolen. According to the research company, Coindesk, Thursday’s bitcoin price of $15 thousand would put the value at over $70 million.

NiceHash specializes in cryptocurrency mining as customers can use their computer processing power to make the necessary calculations to create or mine new bitcoin or other digital currencies. Most users mine cryptocurrencies called altcoin which can be exchanged for their value in bitcoin. NiceHash users can also buy extra computer processing power from other users of the platform.

Bitcoin futures will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on other platforms later this month. Cryptocurrencies were not linked previously to any bank or government and could be spent anonymously.

The jury’s still out on whether bitcoin is a valuable form of money. Some believe its debut on the big stage will spell another economic collapse or be used for laundering money. Others think the opposite, as bitcoin can actually be a helpful means of using currency in countries where national currencies have collapsed.

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