Bitfinex disables trading on exchange after hack

Wed Aug 3, 2016 9:04pm EDT
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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange Bitfinex said late on Wednesday that after a security breach on its website it will temporarily disable trading, deposits and withdrawals.

The announcement was made on its website.

Bitfinex also said it was working to restore limited service to its trading platform. The firm runs one of the largest exchanges for trading bitcoin and other digital currencies such as ether, and litecoin.

On Tuesday, Bitfinex announced it discovered a security breach, with about 120,000 bitcoins, or roughly $70 million, stolen from customer accounts.

The company said only the bitcoins were stolen.

The theft at Bitfinex is the second largest bitcoin heist from an exchange since Tokyo's MtGox lost about $350 million bitcoins in early 2014. MtGox's loss eventually forced it to file for bankruptcy protection.

"To accommodate the relaunch, all withdrawals, open orders, and open funding offers will be canceled," said Bitfinex. "Furthermore, in order to compute losses for relevant parties, settlement of all financed positions will occur in all accounts."

Zane Tackett, Bitfinex's director of community and product development, said on social media website Reddit that the company is "settling all positions, not liquidating."   Continued...

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo