Trading crypto currency may land you a fortune overnight, but there are plenty of risks involved. Like forgetting the password to your wallet. Or someone hacking your computer to steal your funds. Or having your exchange hacked. In the case of Bitpoint’s customers, that’s exactly what happened.
Japan-based Bitpoint halted all services on Friday, including withdrawals, deposits, payments and new account openings, when it detected an error in Ripple remittances. It later discovered it had been the victim of a cyber-attack.
The hackers managed to steal around 3.5 billion yen worth of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereal, which translates into $32 million. Most of the stolen cryptos ($23 million) belonged to the customers, while the remainder was Bitpoint’s. The attackers emptied both hot wallets and cold (offline) wallets, leaving the exchange penniless. It is unclear if the firm plans to reimburse customers or even if it can.
Bitpoint has notified local authorities and is actively investigating the incident.
The Bitpoint hack is only the latest in a long string of attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in the past couple of years. Japan alone has been the scene of numerous such incidents in the past year. In 2018, two other Japanese exchanges were hit, including Zaif ($60 million) and Coincheck ($530 million).