HONG KONG (AFP) – A major Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange has suspended trading after $65 million in the virtual unit was reportedly stolen by hackers — sending the digital currency plunging more than 20 percent.
Bitfinex said it had suspended all transactions after discovering that some users’ Bitcoins had been taken.
“Today we discovered a security breach that requires us to halt all trading on Bitfinex, as well as halt all digital token deposits to and withdrawals from Bitfinex,” the company said in a statement posted on its website late Tuesday.
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system.
Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.
Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team say they have confirmed his claims.
But many others in the Bitcoin world are asking for more proof.
With a name like Satoshi Nakamoto, it was widely assumed the creator of digital currency bitcoin was some reclusive Japanese technology wizard.
But it appears he is actually an Australian academic – called Craig Steven Wright.
An investigation from tech site Wired claims the 44-year-old Sydney academic likely real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous figure that first released bitcoin’s code in 2009.
And in a bizarre coincidence, more than a dozen Australia Federal Police officers raided Dr Wright’s Gordon property on Sydney’s north shore at 1.30pm – but they denied any link to the report.
News outlets have endeavoured to unravel the mystery of who created Bitcoin for several years due to its link with criminal activities – such as the sale of drugs on the dark net – as well as the future of the multi-billion dollar digital asset.
Mark Karpeles, the former head of defunct bitcoin exchange MtGox, has been arrested in Japan, and is reportedly to be questioned over the 2014 disappearance of nearly $390m (£250m) worth of the virtual currency.
A spokesman for the Tokyo police said French-born Karpeles, 30, was suspected of accessing the exchange’s computer system in February 2013 and inflating his cash account by $1m.