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Hackers Make Off With $40 Million in Bitcoin After Tuesday Night Heist

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 8, 2019
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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has reported that hackers were able to break into its systems to steal some $40 million worth of bitcoins, as well as some user information that people used to log into their accounts, according to CNBC. The exchange said that the heist was a large-scale action that took time to plan and execute, involving multiple seemingly independent accounts acting in tandem at precisely the right moment. 

High-profile thefts and frauds have become regular occurrences in the cryptocurrency world. Much of them can be attributed to the fact that many cryptocurrency platforms have less regulation and protection than sovereign currencies (often by design) due to the culture's semi-Wild West status. The first major public loss occurred in 2014, when the then-largest exchange, MtGox, reported $460 million worth of bitcoin stolen. Since then, just a sample of major heists and frauds includes: 

* $65 million stolen from an exchange in Hong Kong
* $650 million stolen in a fraudulent initial coin offering in Vietnam
* $2 million stolen from investors in another fraudulent initial coin offering
* $530 million stolen from a hack on a Japanese exchange
* $850 million in potential losses after a NY-based exchange allegedly handed the assets over to a Panamanian entity without any contract or written agreement. 

At the beginning of 2019, it was estimated that $1.9 billion total in cryptocurrencies had been stolen, the majority of which security analysts say can be traced to just two hacker groups