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Cryptocurrency Mining Site Hacked; Bitcoin Hits $15,000

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The cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash said it was hacked and $64 million worth of bitcoin may have been stolen.

Slovenia-based NiceHash said it is investigating the nature of the security breach involving its website, and stopping all operations for a day. The payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet were stolen on Thursday.

NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P Škraba was quoted as saying that approximately 4,700 BTC - worth about $64 million - was lost.

NiceHash, which offers computing capacity for bitcoin miners to mine digital currencies, said this is a matter of deep concern and is working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. "The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement".

Customers have been urged to change their online passwords.

Several users have reported on social media that their NiceHash-linked wallets were emptied during the outage, with some saying they could lose hundreds of dollars.

Ethereum, another form of cryptocurrency, had come under attack last month. millions of dollars worth Ethereum were "accidentally" frozen on the cryptocurrency wallet provider Parity after a user deleted its code and froze all ether tokens contained within.

Following the failure of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox in 2014, Japanese Government enacted new laws to regulate cryptocurrencies.

In the wake of significant spurt in the value of bitcoin, the Reserve Bank of India this week had cautioned users and traders of virtual currencies against the potential economic, legal, customer protection and security related risks involved in dealing with them.

Meanwhile Bitcoin's value surpassed $15,000 mark for the first time on Thursday. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, or CBOE is planning to launch futures trading in the virtual currency starting Sunday.

by RTT Staff Writer

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