Cryptocurrency Miner NiceHash Hacked - $62 Million in Bitcoins Gone

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Almost $64m in bitcoin has been stolen by hackers who broke into Slovenian-based bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash.

The hack was "a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering" that resulted in approximately 4,700 bitcoin being stolen, worth about $63.92m at current prices, said NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P Škraba. Given that Bitcoin is now trading at over $13,000, that put the value of this heist in excess of $62 million.

Nicehash, a famous mining pool seems to have been hacked, according to online data, a good 56 million United States dollars worth of BitCoin seems to have disappeared overnight. The company has now paused its operations and is looking into the matter.

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It wasn't immediately clear whether funds had been taken from NiceHash users' accounts as well. 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.

Founded in 2014, NiceHash allows users to buy and sell hashpower through its online marketplace. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on crosstown rival CME Group's platforms later in the month. On Jan. 1 this year, bitcoin was priced at just under $1,000. On Thursday it surged to over $14,100.74, up $1,000 in less than a day, according to Coindesk.

Bitcoin has proved popular with currency traders, going on a massive bull run in 2017. They are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are traded. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed.

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NiceHash lets people offer computing capacity for bitcoin miners to mine digital currencies. That prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice.

Banks and financial institutions have long cautioned that the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency makes it a risky investment, but for successful attackers, the industry potentially provides a quick method to get rich - much to the frustration of investors.

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