Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp resumes trading


UP AND RUNNING: Bitstamp has resumed its trading business after a security compromise.  — Reuters

UP AND RUNNING: Bitstamp has resumed its trading business after a security compromise. — Reuters

LJUBLJANA: Bitstamp, one of the largest exchanges for the digital bitcoin currency, said it would resume trading after suspending operations because of a security breach .

Bitstamp had suspended its service after the breach resulted in the loss of around 19,000 bitcoins with a value of some US$5mil (RM17.7mil).

"Trading will resume," Damijan Merlak, one of Bitstamp's two Slovenian founders, told Reuters in an e-mailed message.

Bitstamp had said it expected that trading could resume within 24 hours and added that customers would not lose money because of the breach and that security would be increased.

Merlak said various institutions from the European Union and the United States were investigating the security breach without naming them. The Slovenian police told Reuters it was not involved in the investigation.

Last February, Bitstamp claimed that developers had come up with a solution to thwart cyber attacks against its platform after Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchanges, lost an estimated US$650mil (RM2.3bil) worth of the virtual currency when its computer system was hacked.

The Bitstamp breach represented a small fraction of its total bitcoin reserve and the majority was held in secure offline systems, the Slovenia-based firm posted on its website.

Bitcoin, the best-known virtual currency, started circulating in 2009. Unlike conventional money, bitcoin is generated by computers and is independent of control or backing by any government.

A bitcoin is currently worth US$276.80 (RM983.68mil).

Merlak, 28, and his colleague Nejc Kodric, 25, both computer experts, founded Bitstamp in 2011. According to the Slovenian media the two had earned about 23mil euros (RM96.6mil) from the enterprise which places them among the 50 richest Slovenians. — Reuters