Even though, as a protocol, Bitcoin has never been hacked, bitcoin exchanges seem to be facing the danger of being robbed relatively often. Bitcoin’s current value is estimated at $8 billion USD and, by some people, the currency itself is considered “Gold 2.0”. The rush to own bitcoins seems to only be speeding up and hackers are even capable of committing a crime to possess some coins.
Right now, there are about 170 bitcoin exchanges all around the globe, with new ones opening all the time. The business model of an exchange is clear: they simply make money from exchanging fiat-to-bitcoin and bitcoin-to-fiat. With Bitcoin popularity growing, the demand to exchange funds keeps rising, just like Bitcoin’s price.
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Bitcoin’s value got to the point where it became attractive to hackers who sell information on the dark web, giving advice on how to steal directly from exchanges.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Bitcoin itself has never been hacked. The term “bitcoin hacks”, used widely around the web, refers to exchanges and sometimes wallets that have been accessed by a third, unauthorized party.
Who has been hacked?
Below, we have listed the exchanges that have been compromised by hackers but only for this year. These hacks could be anything from one person being hacked or multiple accounts being stolen from. The hacks could happen due to poor security or due to platform targeting, so all exchanges should focus on making their websites more secure.
Bitfinex - August 2016: The investigation is still going on, as the most recent hack appears to also be one of the biggest ones this year. Bitfinex was hacked for $61.8 million dollars.
Kraken - July 2016: The exchange’s users have been compromised and had their funds stolen, after the exchange was targeted by hackers. The biggest loss was $285 dollars, as reported by a user whose account has been hacked.
itBit - July 2016: The accounts of itBit’s users have been compromised but no funds have been stolen. One of the users almost lost 18 BTC but thankfully, they didn’t make it out of the exchange.
Gatecoin - May 2016: The breach of a hot wallet on the exchange could be one of the biggest losses this year, as it’s estimated that up to $2 million USD has been stolen from Gatecoin.
SimpleFX - May 2016: The email system of the exchange has been hacked and email addresses related to platform users have been stolen, with malicious messages sent to them.
Shapeshift - April 2016: Hackers managed to steal $230.000 USD.
Yaykuy - April 2016: The exchange was hacked and taken offline. Yaykuy has been working on fixing their security system but hasn’t come back online since the hack happened.
BitQuick - March 2016: Customer names, phone number and emails were stolen but it appears that no funds were taken away. The website shut down after the security breach.
Cointrader - March 2016: All users’ data was stolen and the exchange shut down.
Cryptsy - January 2016: The exchange was closed and never opened again, after making an announcement that around 13,000 bitcoins have been stolen from them.
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