Bitfinex bị hack

More than $60m worth of bitcoin was stolen from one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges yesterday, and nearly 24 hours later, the sự kiện is still shrouded in mystery.

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What is clear, though, is that the impact is far-reaching.

The Bitfinex theft represents the largest loss of bitcoins by an exchange since Japan’s infamous Mt Gox lost 744,408 BTC in early 2014 (worth $350m), a breach that would ultimately cause it khổng lồ cease operations.

At press time, the value of the 119,756 BTC stolen from Bitfinex stands at roughly $66m, or about 18% of what was lost by Mt Gox.

Given the kích cỡ, the theft has sparked confusion và frustration amuốn market traders & observers since it was announced.

Sources cthua trận lớn the exchange have sầu largely avoided offering comment on whether the 119,756 BTC stolen represents the full extent of the haông xã, and Bitfinex itself has yet to lớn publish any findings from its ongoing internal investigation.

Here’s what we know (& what we don’t know) so far:

What we know

Multi-signature accounts were impacted

The source of the vulnerability appears to lớn lie in how Bitfinex structured its accounts và its use of bitcoin wallet provider BitGo as an additional layer of security on customer transactions.

Announced in năm ngoái, Bitfinex & BitGo created a system whereby multi-signature wallets, those where keys are divided aý muốn a number of owners lớn manage risk, would be provided to lớn each customer.

The exchange declared at the time:

“The era of commingling customer bitcoin & all of the associated security exposures is over.”

As referenced in the quote, the companies sought khổng lồ find an alternative sầu lớn the standard process used by exchanges at the time that saw customer funds co-mingled in larger offline wallets và connected or “hot” wallets used to meet liquidity demands.

Rather, each Bitfinex user has their own mix of keys created on the platkhung, using a 2-of-3 key arrangement whereby Bitfinex held two of the keys (including one offline) & BitGo used the third khổng lồ co-sign transactions.

In order to lớn withdraw such a large amount of funds, BitGo would likely have sầu had lớn sign off on those transactions.

Bitfinex customer losses significant

While the full extent of customer losses on an individual basis is unclear, signs indicate a significant submix of the bitcoin trading community was impacted.

In the hours following the news, community members took khổng lồ Twitter và Reddit lớn report that their accounts had been drained.

Some users expressed exasperation despite having security measures like two-factor authentication in place, in which secondary devices (lượt thích a Mobile phone) are used khổng lồ provide an additional passkey layer.

On the other hvà, funds transferred to lớn the exchange following the hack are said to be secure, but the exchange has yet khổng lồ release details on both when & how withdrawals will be managed.

Bitcoin prices have fallen sharply

One of the most direct impacts of the Bitfinex haông xã could be seen in the price of bitcoin, which plunged after the news broke.

Prices fell by nearly 20%, tumbling as low as $480 USD before recovering.


At press time, the price of bitcoin is approximately $552, according khổng lồ the Bitcoin USD Price Index, up roughly $70 from yesterday’s low.

Bitfinex remains offline

Alos at press time, Bitfinex remains offline, with its message announcing the hack still visible lớn users.

Statements from Bitfines suggest that the company is looking khổng lồ initially bring the site online so that users can kiểm tra their balances and determine whether their accounts have sầu been drained.

What we don’t know

Who is lớn blame?

Given the amount of money involved, many in the community have sầu been searching for a scapegoat.

One obvious target has been Bitfinex itself, which had possession of two of the three private keys needed for the funds lost from multi-signature accounts. Others have questioned whether weaknesses in BitGo’s Model were exposed in the incident as well.

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Yesterday, BitGo took lớn social truyền thông media to state that an internal investigation had turned up no evidence of a server breach on their over.

Yet despite the assurances, some observers have sầu blamed the service for “blindly signing” the withdrawal of nearly 1trăng tròn,000 BTC and wondered why no potential countermeasures were in place in the sự kiện of a movement of funds of that form size.

With 30-day transaction volumes just above 600,000 BTC, the haông xã was roughly one-sixth of the kích thước of the exchange’s monthly orders.

When will fiat funds be accessible?

One prevailing question aước ao customers is the status of deposits not denominated in bitcoin. Since the hachồng was first revealed, Bitfinex stated that only its bitcoin holdings were impacted.

More than a few customers are now taking to social truyền thông media to ask when they’ll be able khổng lồ access or withdraw those funds.

Answers may be coming soon, however. Representative Zane Tackett, who has been responding khổng lồ queries via social media since the incident first came lớn light, said that more updates are forthcoming.

Were other exchanges impacted?

Other market observers were quichồng khổng lồ speculate on whether the outage could lead lớn complications at other exchanges that may have sầu been using Bitfinex as a source of liquidity.

It is known that Bitfinex did offer an API & that it was at one time used by exchanges, though the primary kết thúc markets appeared khổng lồ be brokers and traders.

Such an issue was exposed by a hachồng at Bitstamp in early 2015, when exchanges, merchants & ATM providers connected to the exchange experienced a notable disruption.

At press time, it’s unclear if any smaller exchanges were impacted, & smaller exchanges contacted by reported no disruptions.

In statements khổng lồ, however, exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp indicated that their approaches khổng lồ implementing BitGo’s multisig technology differed from that of Bitfinex.

“For now I can already say that Bitstamp’s implementation of BitGo’s MultiSig technology is fundamentally different from the one at Bitfinex,” Vasja Zupan, head of business development for Bitstamp, told

In an tin nhắn, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said that while he couldn’t offer details on the exchange’s security measures, he remarked that “we’re confident in our configuration” in light of the Bitfinex breach.

Is BitGo’s business Mã Sản Phẩm at risk?

Whether BitGo is deemed at fault, it may be losing the battle of public opinion.

Sources suggest BitGo’s business Model was primarily based on charging enterprise clients for services, & that bitcoin exchanges were the company’s primary target market.

One major exchange representative sầu said that the incident had raised issues with the multi-sig security mã sản phẩm và that further rollout was likely be delayed as a result of the breach.

Yet statements from exchanges about the viability of their own BitGo implementations suggest that at least some of the service’s customers aren’t looking to make any changes, at least for now.

Is the CFTC to lớn blame?

Bitfinex settled with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) earlier this year over alleged trading violations, paying a $75,000 settlement while neither admitting or denying the charges.

At issue, the CFTC said at the time, was how the exchange held control of bitcoin private keys tied khổng lồ user funds connected to financed trading. The agency’s view was that these bitcoins weren’t actually “delivered” following the purchase of them, but rather remained under the control of Bitfinex.

Since the haông chồng, some critics pointed to lớn that language in the CFTC settlement as creating the ikhuyến mãi conditions for the theft by prohibiting Bitfinex from using cold storage for customer funds.

Advocacy group Coin Center, however, moved to lớn dismiss the clalặng that the CFTC was to lớn blame, arguing that multi-sig is one of a number of security approaches and, like others, is prone to vulnerability or failure.

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Press materials from last year also indicate that Bitfinex’s relationship with BitGo predates the CFTC’s investigation.

Image via Shutterstock

Disclosure: is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in BitGo.