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Indian bitcoin exchange Coinsecure reports $3 mn theft, suspects inside job

Indian bitcoin exchange Coinsecure reports $3 mn theft, suspects inside job

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure has suffered a hack leading to a loss of 438.318 bitcoins worth Rs 19 crore ($2.9 million), the Delhi-based company said.

“We regret to inform you that our bitcoin funds have been exposed and seem to have been siphoned out to an address that is outside our control,” the company said on its website.

“Our system itself has never been compromised or hacked, and the current issue points towards losses caused during an exercise to extract bitcoins to distribute to our customers,” it said.

Coinsecure, run by Secure Bitcoin Traders Pvt. Ltd, said that it first noticed the theft from its bitcoin wallet on Monday and that it has filed a case with Delhi Police's Cyber Cell. 

In the police complaint, Coinsecure said it suspects its chief security officer Amitabh Saxena of the theft. Saxena was also the one who first pointed out about the theft, it said.

The company said that the user funds are securely kept in its bitcoin wallet, whose private keys are kept with Saxena and founder and CEO Mohit Kalra.

"As the 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," the company said in the complaint signed by Kalra.

Praveen Kumar, CEO at Kuala Lumpur-headquartered cryptocurrecy startup Belfrics, said that the Reserve Bank of India not banning the currency and not accepting it either adds more risk to the exchanges and people who invest in them. “If these exchanges were regulated, then there would have been timely security audits and security compliance processes that could have stopped such a hack,” he said.

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