Coinsecure, the Indian crypto exchange that recently lost $3.4 million USD worth of bitcoin in a hack, has announced an offer of a 10 percent bounty, approximately $340,000, to those who can help with recovering the lost bitcoins.
On April 11th, 2018, the Delhi-based crypto exchange Coinsecure first divulged to its users that the 438 bitcoins stored in its private offline wallet had vanished. As part of the announcement, the company ensured to protect users from loss personal funds.
11K Affected Users to Receive a Refund Within 10 Days
As per the second announcement, Coinsecure affirmed that users’ funds in Indian rupees are secure and the withdrawal process for the same will commence in a weeks time. Coinsecure also urges the bitcoin community and all users to support the company in retrieving the lost funds.
Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra, told Economic Times:
“We will announce the refund process in the next 5-10 days. We are working to get the website back up and allow customers to log in and withdraw funds.”
Accordingly, over 11,000 Coinsecure customers have been affected by what is known to be the biggest crypto heist in the country’s history to date. In its second announcement, the crypto exchange revealed the wallet address of the delinquent responsible for the theft.
Hacker Moving Bitcoins to Other Addresses
According to the culprit’s wallet address balance sheet, the stolen bitcoin were transferred in small batches over two days. The unknown culprit has moved about 299 bitcoins through multiple transactions. At the time of writing, the originally identified wallet balance was 139.42 bitcoins.
At first, the loss of bitcoins was thought to be a result of a flaw in the system while extracting Bitcoin Gold (BTG). Following the theft, private keys of the cold wallet were leaked online.
CEO Kalra noted:
“The hack that happened is also too good to be true. Almost like offering the password to your bank account in a platter to a hacker. The time he exported the private key, it was after five minutes the hack started.”
As the company investigated the matter, CEO Kalra deemed its chief scientific officer Dr. Amitabh Saxena’s claims, i.e. losing funds while extracting BTG, to be dubious. Following the suspicion, Coinsecure’s parent company Secure Bitcoin Traders Pvt. Ltd. filed a First Information Report (FIR) with the local cybersecurity authorities to investigate the matter.
The FIR undesigned by CEO Kalra accused Dr. Saxena of pocketing company’s funds. According to Karla, Dr. Saxena “is making a false story to divert [his] attention and might have a role to play in this entire incident.” The official complaint also requests the police to seize Dr. Saxena’s passport as he is a flight risk.
For now, Coinsecure is awaiting the investigation to come to a conclusion. In the interim, it is preparing the system for users to withdraw money. The crypto industry is still in its developing phase, as is evident with this Coinsecure incident. The episode also highlights the need for a regulatory framework for the crypto space in the country.
Will Coinsecure be able to retrieve the lost Bitcoin? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via Coinsecure, The Daily Beast