Bitcoin 'worth €54m' stolen after website hacked

It comes as the cryptocurrency continues to dramatically surge in value

Business & Tech

Picture by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

12:41 7 Dec 2017 Stephen McNeice 12:41 Thursday 7 December 2017

A bitcoin exchange has been hacked, with suggestions that tens of millions of euro worth of the cryptocurrency has been stolen.

The Slovenia-based marketplace confirmed a security breach had taken place, with 'the contents of the NiceHash bitcoin wallet stolen' during the online heist.

Reuters reports that 4,700 bitcoin - worth nearly $64m (€54m) - were taken by the hackers.

NiceHash has temporarily halted all operations in the wake of the hack.

In a statement published on their website, the marketplace said: "Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days.

"In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency."

The statement adds: "We would not exist without our devoted buyers and miners all around the globe. We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service."

It comes as the 'virtual currency' has experienced a massive surge in value over recent days & weeks.

Despite only being worth $1,000 at the start of the year, bitcoin monitoring site CoinDesk reports that the value has this week topped $15,000 for the first time - which includes a rise of $2,000 in one day alone.

The recent pricing volatility have led many analysts to warn of a bubble with the cryptocurrency, with Yale economist Stephen Roach describing it as a "dangerous speculative bubble by any shadow or stretch of the imagination".

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that exists in virtual and networked form. Users confirm transactions through a process known as 'mining', and the funds can be stored or transferred through a bitcoin 'wallet'.

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