Cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash reveals security breach

Bitcoin tops $15000; hack raises concerns ahead of US trade

"Our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen". The market cap for Bitcoin is over $225 billion at present, and while many suspect the cryptocurrency is experiencing a bubble, that's a big target for hackers and the like.

Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash has been hacked with a large sum, believed to be $68 million in bitcoin, stolen from the site.

Cryptocurrencies are virtual "coins" that are "mined" by computers using complex algorithms.

The site said it was still working to figure out exactly how many bitcoins were taken. Several reports from users noted that their Bitcoin wallets associated with NiceHash had been emptied.

The incident brings back the memories of the 2014 implosion of the "mtGox" Bitcoin marketplace which lead to losses of millions of dollars.

The digital currency's value has soared in recent weeks, crossing $14,000 for the first time on Thursday morning in Asia.

Nicehash is further recommending that users of its internal wallets change all of their online passwords (especially any that were similar to the one they used on the site) as a precaution. "In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency", NiceHash said.

NiceHash CEO Marko Kobal didn't immediately respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment.

The cyber heist is yet another reminder about the vulnerability of some digital currency platforms.

Andrej P. Škraba, head of marketing at the firm, confirmed to news agency Reuters that around 4,700 bitcoins - worth roughly $68 million at current prices - were lost in the hack. Users mention that their wallets have been emptied and the bitcoins are now in a wallet that received 4736 bitcoins on Wednesday, currently, that entails a total value of 51 million euros, roughly 56 million Dollars.

Bitcoin wallets are usually a highly secure technology, but the hack may have included a sophisticated attempt to scam and steal wallet keys.

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