Updated: Jul 7, 2019
Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoins worth about $40 million via a single transaction in a “large scale security breach,” the latest in a long line of thefts in the digital currency space.
The hackers used a “variety of techniques” including phishing and viruses to obtain a large amount of user data, Binance said in a post on its website. There may be additional accounts that have been affected but not yet identified, Binance said. The largest digital tokens including Bitcoin slid about 3 percent after the disclosure, then recovered most of the drop.
The company will use its Secure Asset Fund for Users, an emergency insurance fund, to cover the incident in full and no user funds will be affected, it said.
The transaction was limited to Binance’s BTC hot wallet, which contains about 2 percent of the company’s Bitcoin holdings, according to the post. Other wallets are secure and unharmed, the exchange said.
The 7,000 Bitcoins are worth roughly $40 million, based on current Bitcoin composite pricing calculated by Bloomberg. Bitcoin pared its decline to 0.5 percent as of 10:53 a.m. in London, after earlier dropping as much as 3.1 percent from Tuesday. The broader Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index also dipped.