Bitfinex bitcoin exchange offline after potentially costly security breach

Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has taken its trading platform offline, telling users that it suffered a security breach which resulted in the loss of potentially millions of dollars.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitfinex has confirmed it has experienced a security breach, halting all trading, deposit, and withdrawal activities on Tuesday night.

A Reddit user claiming to be the director of Community and Product Development at Bitfinex has said the loss from the hack stands at 119,756 bitcoins -- currently the approximate equivalent of $65 million.

While Bitfinex has not confirmed the amount taken, the company said it does know that some users have had their bitcoins stolen and it will be undertaking a review to determine which users have been affected by the breach.

"As we account for individualised customer losses, we may need to settle open margin positions, associated financing, and/or collateral affected by the breach. Any settlements will be at the current market prices as of 18:00 UTC," Bitfinex's website reads. "We are taking this necessary accounting step to normalise account balances with the objective of resuming operations."

Bitfinex also confirmed that the breach was limited to bitcoin wallets, with other cryptocurrencies traded on the platform unaffected.

The company said it expects to look at various options when addressing customer losses later in the investigation, which is being looked into with help from law enforcement.

Currently, the Bitfinex website has been taken down, with a maintenance page displaying the breach notification taking its place. The company has said bitfinex.com will remain offline while it conducts its initial investigation and secures its environment, and said updates will be posted when appropriate.

"We are deeply concerned about this issue and we are committing every resource to try to resolve it. We ask for the community's patience as we unravel the causes and consequences of this breach," Bitfinex said.

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