Nicehash HACKED - now over $62 Million sits in hackers Bitcoin wallet!

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

The hack affected NiceHash's payment system, and the entire contents of the company's bitcoin wallet was stolen, the company said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

Bitcoin surged past $17,000 Thursday as the frenzy surrounding the virtual currency escalated just days before it starts trading on major US exchanges. "We are now investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours", the company wrote, in a press statement. The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1 000 at the start of the year, up more than 1300%.

The company said it was investigating the cause of the breach on Thursday as bitcoin surged above $15,000 for the first time, adding more than $2,000 to its price in 12 hours ahead of this weekend's launch of bitcoin futures by CBOE. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a week later. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously.

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Bitcoins are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they travel from one owner to the next.

Many other users responded to the company's maintenance tweet, saying that they had money stolen. James Howell for example more 7,500 Bitcoins just because he threw out the hard drive that contained them.

Because the tally of bitcoin transactions, or blockchain, is verified constantly by a network of miners, rogues can not spend the same bitcoin twice.

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In Japan, following the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

"While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords", they wrote in the statement. This corporate security breach is being investigated by NiceHash and the proper authorities and will be dealt with urgently.

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