Bitcoins stolen after cryptocurrency site NiceHash hacked

Bitcoins stolen after cryptocurrency site NiceHash hacked

The hack affected NiceHash's payment system, and the entire contents of the company's bitcoin wallet was stolen, the company said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

There have been at least three dozen heists of cryptocurrency exchanges since 2011; numerous hacked exchanges later shut down, most notably Mt. Gox, which was the world's largest bitcoin trading exchange when it went under in 2014. It displays only a statement in which the service's administrators explain how the service will remain offline for 24 hours while they work to determine how many Bitcoins the attackers stole from the site's wallet.

"We are now investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours", said NiceHash.

Rumours of the hack first appeared early Wednesday, and the site went down for maintenance soon afterward.

Cboe Global Markets has said it will start trading bitcoin futures on December 10, while CME Group's contracts are set to debut on December 18.

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Bitcoin is a digital currency that's not tied to any bank or government. Some say they serve merely to facilitate money laundering and illicit, anonymous payments. They are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are traded. As the price of the world's most popular virtual currency keeps surging - to a record $15,000 on Thursday - here's a look at what it is and how it is "mined". That prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice.

In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Posting on social media, NiceHash said that "there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website" resulting in a loss of funds.

"While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords", they wrote in the statement.

Slovenian police are investigating the case together with authorities in other states, spokesman Bostjan Lindav said, without providing details.

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