Bitfinex, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, announced it is halting its operations after suffering a major security breach, which resulted in the loss of nearly 120,000 Bitcoins.
In a statement posted on its website, the Hong Kong-based company said it learned of the incident on Tuesday and has since reported the theft to law enforcement.
“We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen,” read the notice.
“We are undertaking a review to determine which users have been affected by the breach. While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, bitfinex.com will be taken down and the maintenance page will be left up,” said Bitfinex.
According to a Reddit post by Zane Tackett, director of community at Bitfinex, the loss from the hack amounted to 119,756 BTC – worth more than $77 million before the cryptocurrency’s value plummeted almost 20%.
Within the day after the hack announcement, the Bitcoin price dropped from $602 to $541 per Bitcoin.
“As we account for individualized customer losses, we may need to settle open margin positions, associated financing, and/or collateral affected by the breach,” noted the company.
“Any settlements will be at the current market prices as of 18:00 UTC [on August 2, 2016]. We are taking this necessary accounting step to normalize account balances with the objective of resuming operations. We will look at various options to address customer losses later in the investigation. While we are halting all operations at this time, we can confirm that the breach was limited to bitcoin wallets; the other digital tokens traded on Bitfinex are unaffected,” said Bitfinex.
The company added it would continue to update the maintenance page with more information when appropriate.
“We are deeply concerned about this issues and we are committing to every resource to try to resolve it. We ask for the community’s patience as we unravel the causes and consequences of this breach,” said Bitfinex.