Even as the price of bitcoin breaches records, hackers are still targeting the cryptocurrency.
More than $70 million worth of bitcoin are estimated to have been stolen from NiceHash, according to the Wall Street Journal. NiceHash is a Slovenia-based mining marketplace for people who earn money by selling their computer’s processing power to miners.
Hackers allegedly stole 4,736 bitcoins from a NiceHash digital wallet. The company has not provided details of the hack, but is investigating the incident. (See also: Can Bitcoin Be Hacked?)
In a Facebook post, the company said the hack was “a matter of deep concern.” “In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement, and we are cooperating with them as a matter of urgency,” NiceHash said.
This is the third hack involving cryptocurrencies in less than a month. Tether, a cryptocurrency that has a one-to-one exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, reported a theft of $31 million of Tether from its treasury wallet during the third week of November. Some $150 million worth of ether was “frozen” in a wallet on Ethereum’s blockchain earlier in November, when a developer attempted to fix a May 2017 hack. (See also: $150 Million Worth Ethereum "Accidentally" Frozen.)
The latest hack does not seem to have had a major impact on bitcoin's price, which continues to set new highs. At 17:17 UTC, bitcoin was trading at $15,465, an increase of 12.80% in the last 24 hours. Earlier, it set a new bitcoin price record at $16,599.13.
While hacks draw attention to vulnerabilities within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, they are yet to have a serious, long-term impact on the price for digital currencies. This is primarily because hackers have mostly targeted online wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges instead of a cryptocurrency’s blockchain. As such, the hacks are not indicative of lapses or weakened security, which is a key selling proposition for cryptocurrencies. That said, the role of exchanges and wallets will become more important as bitcoins (and other cryptocurrencies) gain mainstream acceptance.