Posted by CryptoCoinsNews on June 23, 2018 09:33:33The price of an Australian crypto coin rose from $2.95 to $4.25 earlier this week after it was announced that a Chinese miner had hacked into its blockchain, leading to a dramatic rise in the price.
The news prompted bitcoin prices to rally, hitting a record high of $7,099.24 shortly after 1am AEDT.
Australian bitcoin price has since bounced back to $2,700, a 10 per cent increase.
In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, digital currency expert Michael Chabon said he believed the hacker had broken into the blockchain of the Australian mining firm Bitmain and stolen its private keys.
“I’m not sure if the theft of these private keys is legitimate,” Mr Chabons said.
“The fact is, it was stolen from Bitmain’s servers and Bitmain could have easily used these keys to steal the price.”
Mr Chabont believes that the hacker was trying to sell the private keys for as much as $6 million.
“If you’re going to steal a billion dollars from a bitcoin mining company, you’ve got to do something to make it worth that,” he said.
Bitmain’s chief technology officer, Mark Wilson, told the Financial Review the breach had been reported to the Australian Federal Police, but the company had not yet received a formal investigation.
“We have notified the relevant authorities and the investigation is ongoing,” he wrote in an email.
“Our thoughts are with the affected users of Bitmain.”
Mr Wilson said Bitmain had begun a review of its own blockchain and that the incident would be investigated by its security team.
“This breach has occurred because of our strong security measures,” he told the FT.
“It is extremely disappointing that our customers, users and partners are still experiencing issues with our platform and are concerned.”
Bitcoin prices fell to $1,976.70 shortly after the hacking, but recovered somewhat to $3,857.88 by midday.
BitPay, the payment processor that handled the breach, said the hack affected its services in Australia.
“Unfortunately, we have noticed that a customer has reported that they are experiencing an issue with their payment processing and the service they are using, which could be impacting the Bitcoin network,” it said in a statement.
“BitPay has advised the affected customers that their transactions will be delayed and we are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
Bitcoin futures markets were closed earlier this morning as a precaution, but were reopened at 6:30am AEST.