Bitcoins Worth Rs19 Crore Stolen From Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange CoinSecure

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"He (Saxena) might have the role to play in the entire incident", the complaint said. The company suspects an inside job.

In what is perhaps India's largest cryptocurrency theft, Coinsecure, a cryptocurrency exchange with over 200,000 users has lodged an FIR with the cyber cell of the Delhi police. In its statement and the FIR, the company has stated that the explanation of the event by its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was unsatisfactory and he should not be allowed to fly overseas until the matter gets resolved. He said, "Private keys should have never been exported online".

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Coinsecure recruited Saxena as its Chief Scientific Officer in September 2017, citing credentials as a professor of Computer Science in Australia and previous tenures at Hewlett Packard (HP) and Accenture. "We will be updating our users over the next week on how the withdrawals can be requested and processed", it added. A private key is an integral aspect of bitcoin and altcoins, and its security make up helps to protect a user from theft and unauthorized access to funds.

According to cryptocurrency exchange Coinome, on Friday, bitcoins were trading at Rs. 4,80,000 or about $7,359, which was well below its worldwide market price of about $7,771. Pantera Capital Management, one of the biggest cryptocurrency hedge funds, says $6,500 was the low of this bear market and Bitcoin will stay above that price for the majority of the next year, likely surpassing the previous record of nearly $20,000.

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"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", the company said in a statement posted on its website.

Speaking to Inc42, Coinsecure CTO Benson Samuel said, "Now, that the FIR has been filed, we can't proceed the case at our end and are waiting to have further updates from the police on the matter".

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This is happening just days after the RBI effectively banned Bitcoin trading in India, by barring regulated entities like banks from dealing with businesses or individuals who deal in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and so on, even though the cryptocurrencies themselves remain legal. It is estimated that in India, around 5 million people have invested a totalof approximately $2 billion in crytopcurrencies. If Coinsecure is unable to recoup the bitcoins, the company shall compensate its users for the loss of funds from its personal coffers.

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