The cryptocurrency industry is subject to a lot of attention by criminals and hackers. This has caused many problems in the past, yet also affects present proceedings. The latest victim in this regard is Cryptopia, one of the more prominent altcoin exchanges. After a recent incident, the team confirmed someone accessed specific information and funds without authorization.
The Mysterious Cryptopia Incident
Over the past ten years, numerous Bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms have been infiltrated by criminals and hackers. Not every incident leads to a loss of funds, but the statistics are quite worrisome in their own regard. Even in 2018, numerous big platforms had to deal with intrusions and funds being stolen. One would expect companies to beef up their security precautions because of all these incidents, yet that is not necessarily the case.
More specifically, the year 2019 has only just begun and the first “hacked” exchange incident has come to light. Cryptopia, a company based in New-Zealand, has confirmed its platform was accessed without authorization. At this time, very few details have been unveiled. It appears the initial incident occurred on January 13rd, as the platform suddenly went into unscheduled maintenance.
For those who are familiar with exchange hacks, this is usually a very problematic warning sign. An unscheduled maintenance can occur due to technical issues, but in most cases, it means a security breach has taken place. After numerous vague tweets, Cryptopia eventually confirmed the platform was affected by a security incident. Significant losses have been sustained, although no further specifics were shared at this time.
What Comes Next?
In the message, the team also confirms an official investigation has been launched. By collaborating with government agencies and police officials, the team hopes to track down the culprit and potentially recover the missing funds. If previous hacks are any indication, the funds will most likely not be recovered through conventional means. It is likely to assume any stolen money has already been cashed out or converted to more anonymous currencies such as Monero.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 15, 2019
As far as the affected users are concerned, no course of action has been presented. The Cryptopia platform will remain in maintenance mode until further notice and trading has been suspended indefinitely. It also appears users are unable to withdraw funds from the platform, which is only normal. Once the investigation concludes, more information will be presented to the cryptocurrency community.
This is another big blow for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin and altcoins have suffered from massive bearish market pressure without any major incidents like these coming to light. It is normal to assume that situation will not necessarily improve in the near future. One can only hope the affected users succeed in getting their money back. It is possible Cryptopia will compensate users, either by paying them out of pocket or introduced some IOU tokens like Bitfinex did a few years ago.
Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.