A security breach at a Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange has led to sharp falls in the digital currency's value.
(CCM) — The Bitcoin market has been plunged into turmoil following the revelation that a Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange has been hacked, Reuters reports. The value of a Bitcoin dropped more than 20% after Bitfinex announced the security breach yesterday, adding that it has resulted in the possible theft of 119,756 Bitcoins, worth about $72 million. The theft, which accounts for about 0.75% of all Bitcoins in circulation, is the second-biggest security breach ever at a Bitcoin exchange. The company has halted trading following the discovery, taking the exchange offline and blocking Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals. The digital currency was trading at over $650 per Bitcoin just four days ago and fell to about $512 after the announcement, before recovering slightly this morning.
Bitfinex is the world's largest dollar-based exchange, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was fined $75,000 by the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission for offering illegal commodity transactions. In 2014, Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox suffered a security breach, resulting in the loss of an estimated $500 million worth of customers' Bitcoins, and in 2015, the Hong Kong-based MyCoin exchange closed down after investors lost up to $387 million.
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