A Delhi-based bitcoin exchange firm lost almost Rs 20 crore worth of the cryptocurrency when most of its wallets were hacked and 440 bitcoins stolen.
In a complaint to the cyber cell of Delhi Police the company called Secure Bitcoin Traders Ltd (parent company of coinsecure) said that it came to know about the missing bitcoins on Monday while going through all the wallets. A case has been registered under IPC sections and Section 66 of the IT Act, according to reports.
The company, with the website Coinsecure.in, has over two lakh users across the country. It seems that the private keys — a kind of password that stored offline — were leaked online leading to the hack.
The company tried to trace the hackers, but found that all the data logs of the affected wallets had been erased, leaving no trails about where the bitcoins were transferred, according to reports. The website of the company has since then remained shut. The home page has a message confirming the hack to their users .
“We regret to inform you that our bitcoin funds have been exposed and seem to have been siphoned out to an address that is outside our control. Our system itself has never been compromised or hacked, and the current issue points towards losses caused during an exercise to extract bitcoins to distribute to our customers,” the company stated.
What is a bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency or virtual currency. It is created and stored using a technology called Blockchain. In existence for almost a decade it came into the limelight over last one year it when the value of one bitcoin touched $20,000. However the price fluctuations have been very volatile.
Cryptocurrency and legal status
Besides bitcoin, there are many other cryptocurrencies like ethereum, litecoin and namecoin.
Though not declared illegal, the Indian government has cautioned against the trade in these currencies as they are not legal tenders of exchange. Last week the RBI gave all Indian banks three months to stop cryptocurrency related activities.