India's Coinsecure reports theft of Rs 19 crore worth of bitcoins

Bitcoins worth Rs 20 crore stolen in India's biggest e-heist

Bitcoins worth Rs 20 crore stolen in India's biggest e-heist

"We were informed by our CSO, Dr. Amitabh Saxena, that 438.318 bitcoins, (worth INR 19 crores- Approx.) were stolen from our company's bitcoin wallet due to some attack". The company claims that almost 438 bitcoins have been siphoned off by Amitabh Saxena, its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) - as declared on the Coinsecure's website. 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.

Coinsecure has accused its Chief Scientific Officer Amitabh Saxena of siphoning off the money from the company's wallet and urged the government to seize his passport to stop him from fleeing the country.

Coinsecure had recently launched Android and iOS apps and it was moving towards a multi-coin architecture. "As private keys are kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident". This is the first known hack instigated against the exchange, and the biggest in India so far. It later found that users' private keys, which are the passwords it stored offline, were leaked online and led to the hack.

In a separate statement to the Times of India, the chief executive revealed that the private keys were exported online. "We have shared our suspicions with the Cyber Cell, and contacted specialists to find out the source of the hack and trace the bitcoins", TOI quoted Kalra as saying.

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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. Pantera Capital Management, one of the biggest cryptocurrency hedge funds, says $6,500 was the low of this bear market and Bitcoin will stay above that price for the majority of the next year, likely surpassing the previous record of nearly $20,000.

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. It is also being checked if more wallets have been compromised.

The Reserve Bank of India has already dealt a blow to the crytocurrency exchanges, barring banks from facilitating trade on virtual currencies and mandating them to unwind their existing relationship with exchanges within three months.

The RBI last week banned regulated entities from providing services to users, holders and traders of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

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