The New Zealand-based exchange Cryptopia experienced a serious hack this past Monday which led to sizeable losses. The case is currently being investigated by the authorities. The total amount lost has not been disclosed.
It seems that 2019 finally has its first case of an exchange being hacked, sadly.
Although 2018 was a year of many high-profile security breaches, we were hoping 2019 would bode far better. After all, the largest problem the cryptocurrency market has today is a lack of trust along with a liquidity issue. Cryptopia is now the latest exchange to suffer a high-profile attack which resulted in “significant losses” according to the police.
The exchange is still offline and all trading is currently suspended.
Being based in New Zealand, Cryptopia alerted the authorities shortly after the breach was reported. In a press release, the exchange said that the staff “notified and involved the appropriate Government Agencies, including the NZ Police and High Tech Crimes Unit.” The statement also reads that these entities are currently “actively assisting us.”
The police commented saying that they were “dealing with a complex situation and…are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take.”
Other high-profile crypto exchanges have responded to the hack in light of these events. CZ, the founder of Binance, publicly said that they would be freezing all funds that are arriving from tagged Cryptopia addresses. They also implored traders and holders to “store coins yourself.” The CEO of Kraken exchange, Jesse Powell, echoed the same sentiment: “do not store more than is absolutely necessary on exchanges.”
These vulnerabilities of security have been a persistent problem in the cryptocurrency space since Bitcoin first came on the scene in 2009. Since then, a staggering $1.1 billion has been lost to hackers. Security tokens, however, may provide investors with much-needed peace of mind given that they rely on more stringent KYC measures which may deter hackers. However, as of now, the market still remains susceptible to such attacks.
Will 2019 be a repeat of 2018 in terms of security breaches? Have we learned anything from the disastrous hacks of last year? Let us know in the comments your thoughts.