Indian Exchange Coinsecure Hit By $3.5 Million Bitcoin Theft

Indian Exchange Coinsecure Hit By $3.5 Million Bitcoin Theft

Mumbai: Coinsecure, a Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange, said it has lost 438.318 bitcoins worth almost Rs 19 crore from its wallet, the biggest reported in the country's fledging virtual currency market. This is regarded as the biggest theft of cryptocurrency in India so far as altogether 440 bitcoins were stolen by hacking e-wallets. The CSO claims that the funds were lost during the process of the extraction of BTG.

"It has also been asked that Saxena's passport should be seized as he may leave the country". In a letter posted on the homepage of its website, Coinsecure says that its system has never been hacked and instead laid the blame exclusively on its chief security officer (CSO), Dr. Amitabh Saxena. In its statement and the FIR, the company has stated that the explanation of the event by its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was unsatisfactory and he should not be allowed to fly overseas until the matter gets resolved.

According to the TOI report, senior officers of Delhi Police's Cyber Cell confirmed the incident and said the firm, identified as Coinsecure, told them about the theft. It was later found that the private keys were leaked online, leading to the hack. A case has been registered under IPC sections and Section 66 of the IT Act.

Trying to trace the hackers proved futile as the data logs of the affected wallets had been wiped off.

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According to cryptocurrency exchange Coinome, on Friday, bitcoins were trading at Rs. 4,80,000 or about $7,359, which was well below its global market price of about $7,771. Instead, the exchange points to the unconvincing claim of its CSO, Amitabh Saxena, who contends the theft occurred during a separate "exercise to extract BTG (Bitcoin Gold)" to distribute among its customers. "It looks like a crime committed intentionally", he added.

Meanwhile, Coinsecure insists it will recover and reimburse customers who have seen their funds stolen. The Cyber Cell has seized the company's servers to check the extent of the system breach and whether more wallets have been compromised.

Coinsecure adds that they will compensate all customers whether they recover the lost funds or not, adding that they will even use their own personal funds to do so. In view of the issues such as money laundering, the Reserve Bank of India has directed entities (such as banks and payment gateways) regulated by the RBI to stop dealing with or providing any services to individuals or businesses indulging with virtual currencies in any form.

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