Even as Bitcoin is starting to shake things up in the US, all is not well in the cryptocurrency world. China-based Bitcoin exchange Bter was hacked on Valentine’s Day and $1.75 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen.
The company hasn’t revealed much about the breach, except that 7,170 BTC was taken from its cold (offline) wallet on February 14 via a single transaction (link) and that the platform is suspending operations until further notice.
The company has offered a bounty of 720 BTC – about $170,000 – for the retrieval of the stolen currency. It says it will arrange withdrawals of unaffected funds at a later date.
This is the second major Bitcoin hack in the past two months. Slovenian exchangeBitstamp lost about $5 million worth of currency in January but has since resumed service. More positively, Coinbase launched the first US Bitcoin exchange last month, ahead of the launch of Lunar, a competitor backed by the Winklevoss twins.
It’s likely that this year’s debate around Bitcoin will center more on security than whether businesses or individuals choose to adopt the currency.