April 26, 2018

Coinsecure reports ₹ 19 crore Bitcoin heist

14 April 2018, 11:02 | Melvin Schneider

Indian Exchange Coinsecure Claims Insider Job in $3 Million Bitcoin Theft

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

Mumbai: Coinsecure, a bitcoin exchange in India, has announced that it has lost 438.3 Bitcoins worth Rs19 crore belonging to its customers. 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.

Yesterday, the company issued a message for its users on its homepage, saying their system has never been compromised or hacked. 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.

Coinsecure had recently launched Android and iOS apps and it was moving towards a multi-coin architecture. Amitabh Saxena, was extracting BTG and he claims that funds have been lost in the process during the extraction of the private keys.

According to a complaint filed by CEO Mohit Kalra to the Delhi Cybercrime Police on April 10, Saxena was the one charged with keeping the private keys to the wallet, and that "he might have a role to play in this entire incident".

"It has also been asked that Saxena's passport should be seized as he may leave the country". Bhardwaj had introduced the first online retail marketplace accepting bitcoin in the country in 2014.

The Delhi Police have registered a case under the Information Technology Act. It was later found that the private keys were leaked online, leading to the hack.

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The private keys are required to move cryptocurrency out of bitcoin wallet. It looks like a crime committed intentionally. "We have shared our suspicions with the Cyber Cell and contacted specialists to find out the source of the hack and trace the bitcoins". The company has halted the exchange operations, as the police seized the company's servers.

"We are running a Bitcoin Exchange platform where the users can buy and sell bitcoins using Indian currency".

Meanwhile, Coinsecure insists it will recover and reimburse customers who have seen their funds stolen. In its letter Coinsecure stated, "Irrespective of funds being recovered, we re-assure all our customers that you will be indemnified from our personal funds".

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.

This is happening just days after the RBI effectively banned Bitcoin trading in India, by barring regulated entities like banks from dealing with businesses or individuals who deal in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and so on, even though the cryptocurrencies themselves remain legal.

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