Cryptocurrency marketplace NiceHash reveals security breach

Cryptocurrency website Nice Hash said on Wednesday it has been hacked with an unconfirmed number of Bitcoins it held stolen

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

Although NiceHash has not confirmed the number of bitcoins stolen, NiceHash users have circulated a wallet address that suggests that 4,736.42 BTC - worth more than $62 million at the current exchange rate - was drained from the company's hot wallet. The company is now investigating the precise amount stolen, though estimates around the web put it north of $66 million Dollars worth of the popular cryptocurrency (at time of writing 1 BTC = ~$13970.50).

NiceHash, a cryptocurrency marketplace, has disclosed that the content of its bitcoin wallet had been stolen in a security breach.

We are now investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days.

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 cooperating with them as a matter of urgency", it said.

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The company has reported the incident to police and told users to change their passwords.

That has increased the sense among some investors that bitcoin is gaining in mainstream legitimacy after several countries, like China, tried to stifle the virtual currency. On Thursday it surged to over $14,100.74, up $1,000 in less than a day, according to Coindesk.

That compares with a value below $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

Bitcoin has proved popular with currency traders, going on a massive bull run in 2017. Some say they serve merely to facilitate money laundering and illicit, anonymous payments.

A digital currency marketplace, NiceHash matches people looking to sell processing time on their computers in exchange for the digital currency bitcoin.

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, "cryptocurrency" - a decentralised tradable digital asset.

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