More than $60m worth of bitcoin was stolen from one of the world’s largest digital currency exchanges yesterday, và nearly 24 hours later, the event 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 năm trước (worth $350m), a breach that would ultimately cause it to lớn 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 thước, the theft has sparked confusion và frustration ahy vọng market traders & observers since it was announced.

Sources cthua thảm to lớn the exchange have sầu largely avoided offering comment on whether the 119,756 BTC stolen represents the full extent of the hachồng, & 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 khổng lồ 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 và BitGo created a system whereby multi-signature wallets, those where keys are divided aước ao a number of owners to manage risk, would be provided to lớn each customer.

The exchange declared at the time:

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

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

Rather, each Bitfinex user has their own phối of keys created on the platsize, using a 2-of-3 key arrangement whereby Bitfinex held two of the keys (including one offline) và BitGo used the third to co-sign transactions.

In order to lớn withdraw such a large amount of funds, BitGo would likely have had to 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 subphối of the bitcoin trading community was impacted.

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

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

On the other hand, funds transferred to lớn the exchange following the haông chồng are said to be secure, but the exchange has yet lớn release details on both when và how withdrawals will be managed.

Bitcoin prices have sầu fallen sharply

One of the most direct impacts of the Bitfinex haông chồng 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 to lớn users.

Statements from Bitfines suggest that the company is looking lớn initially bring the site online so that users can check their balances and determine whether their accounts have 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 mã sản phẩm were exposed in the incident as well.

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Yesterday, BitGo took to social media khổng lồ state that an internal investigation had turned up no evidence of a hệ thống breach on their kết thúc.

Yet despite the assurances, some observers have sầu blamed the service for “blindly signing” the withdrawal of nearly 120,000 BTC và 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 hack was roughly one-sixth of the size 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 lớn social truyền thông media khổng lồ ask when they’ll be able to access or withdraw those funds.

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

Were other exchanges impacted?

Other market observers were quiông chồng to lớn 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 over markets appeared lớn be brokers và traders.

Such an issue was exposed by a haông xã at Bitstamp in early 2015, when exchanges, merchants & ATM providers connected khổng lồ 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 & Bitstamp indicated that their approaches khổng lồ implementing BitGo’s multisig công nghệ differed from that of Bitfinex.

“For now I can already say that Bitstamp’s implementation of BitGo’s MultiSig công nghệ 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, and 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 & 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 khổng lồ 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 hachồng, some critics pointed lớn that language in the CFTC settlement as creating the ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá conditions for the theft by prohibiting Bitfinex from using cold storage for customer funds.

Advocacy group Coin Center, however, moved lớn dismiss the clayên that the CFTC was khổng lồ blame, arguing that multi-sig is one of a number of security approaches và, like others, is prone lớn 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.