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[UPDATED] Cryptopia Goes Offline After Hack Causes Major Losses




The exchange involved in launching New Zealand’s dollar-pegged cryptocurrency has reported a security breach, suspending trading services until further notice.

UPDATED | January 17, 2019

Crypto exchange Binance has frozen tokens sent to its wallet after Twitter users warned that tokens had been moved by the alleged Cryptopia hacker. The frozen tokens include 31,320 Metal, worth about $7,400 at time of press, and 49,766 KyberNetwork tokens, worth about $6,952 at time of press.

The New Zealand police also published a press release stating that the investigation is still in its early stages. At present, both the police and Cryptopia are unable to comment on how much was stolen in the hack.

ORIGINAL | January 15, 2019

New Zealand-based crypto exchange Cryptopia today tweeted that the exchange had gone offline after a hack on January 14 that resulted in "significant losses."

Initially, the exchange had tweeted throughout January 13 and 14 that the platform was undergoing unscheduled maintenance. (The platform's website still offers the same message.) Then came today's Cryptopia tweet saying that the exchange's security had been breached and that both the New Zealand police and High Tech Crimes Unit had been contacted. Both units are treating the hack as a "major crime" and are working jointly to assist and advise Cryptopia.

On January 13, Whale Alert, a Twitter account that live tracks large crypto transactions, tweeted about large amounts of Ether (ETH) and centrality (CENNZ) tokens being moved from Cryptopia. About $2.4 million worth of Ether and $1.1 million worth of CENNZ were transferred from the exchange to an unknown wallet.

The information prompted some to speculate that Cryptopia planned the hack, while others merely asked for more transparency from the exchange with regard to updates about the "unscheduled maintenance."

Cryptopia has yet to confirm whether the funds tracked by Whale Alert were moved by the hacker or by the exchange.

Last year, in November 2018, ETHNews covered Cryptopia's involvement with preparations for the relaunch of New Zealand's dollar-pegged cryptocurrency, NZDT.

Originally launched in 2017, NZDT was designed to give New Zealanders a way to deposit money into a Cryptopia account and get into speculative cryptocurrency trading. In February 2018, however, the bank behind NZDT's launch (ASB Bank) pulled out, citing concerns about compliance, know-your-customer requirements, and the surge in Australian crypto scandals.

A smaller, unnamed bank is now behind the NZDT. Before the recent hack, Cryptopia's business development manager, Adam Lyness, had hopes of a relaunch in the first half of this year.

Nicholas Ruggieri

Nicholas Ruggieri studied English with an emphasis in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno. When he’s not quoting Vines at anyone who’s willing to listen, you’ll find him listening to too many podcasts, reading too many books, and crocheting too many sweaters for his dogs, RT and Peterman.

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