Research company Coindesk said that a wallet address referred to by NiceHash users indicates that about 4,700 bitcoins had been stolen.
"Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days", the announcement said. It is now working with the relevant authorities and law enforcement "as a matter of urgency" to investigate the breach.
The company did not respond to requests for comment.
At 1:05 p.m. EST, Bitcoin was valued at $16,825, according to Coinbase, after briefly surging above $19,000 Thursday morning. Although bitcoin owners are usually anonymous, the amounts stored in their wallets are publicly searchable online. Nicehash offers a server where individuals offer computing capacity to bitcoin miners to mine bitcoins via complicated math equations in order to create blockchains, the basis for cryptocurrency.
TOKYO | The frenzy surrounding bitcoin amped up further Thursday as the virtual currency soared above $15,000 for the first time, just days before it starts trading on major USA exchanges. Users can also buy computer processing power from other NiceHash users. It later facilitates periodic payments to the service providers with bitcoin.
Rumours of the hack first appeared early Wednesday, and the site went down for maintenance soon afterward.
NiceHash is only the latest cryptocurrency company to suffer a major hack in recent months.
The hack occurred just as the trading community prepares for bitcoin to start trading on two established USA exchanges.
The breach came to light when a large number of users reported on social media that their NiceHash wallets had been emptied. The digital coins are stored in a digital wallet or on the cloud and can be used in transactions.
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