CFTC gearing up for trading in bitcoin futures

CFTC gearing up for trading in bitcoin futures

NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P. Škraba told Reuters on Thursday that the hack was "a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering" and that about 4,700 bitcoin, worth about $63.92 million at current prices, were lost.

"Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen".

NiceHash does not provide any estimates as to how many Bitcoins it thinks the criminal stole.

NiceHash advised users to change online passwords, saying it was still trying to understand what had happened during the incident.

The surge in the price and the hack of NiceHash occurred just as the trading community prepares for bitcoin to start trading on two established USA exchanges.

Slovenian police are investigating the case together with authorities in other states, spokesperson Bostjan Lindav said, without providing details.

The hack will put a spotlight on the security of bitcoin just as the trading community prepares for the currency to start trading on two established USA exchanges. Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on crosstown rival CME Group's platforms later in the month.

That has increased the sense among some investors that bitcoin is gaining in mainstream legitimacy after several countries, like China, tried to stifle the virtual currency. The price of Bitcoin jumped to an all time high of over $13,000 (11,000 euro) on Wednesday. That takes the digital currency's surge this year to more than 1,500 per cent and its market capitalization to $274 billion.

Some reports suggested that as much as $60m-worth of Bitcoins were stolen in the heist, but the site said it was still working to establish just how much had been thieved.

A debate is raging on the merits of such currencies.

The marketplace is among the largest in the world and has raised serious alarms for security threats for online companies. The Mount Gox hack in 2011 transferred nearly 10 times the bitcoins that NiceHash's security breach involved.

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