Bitcoin price almost fully recovers from Hong Kong hack-driven losses

Francesca Washtell
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The bitcoin price is approaching $600 today (Source: Getty)

The bitcoin price has recovered almost all of its losses since it plunged last week after hackers targeted the Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex.

The price of a single bitcoin fell around 20 per cent to $483.10 after it emerged on 2 August that hackers had stolen more than $60m (£46m), or around 120,000 coins, from Bitfinex’s digital wallets.

On 1 August, bitcoin had been trading at $606.35, according to Bitstamp. This afternoon the bitcoin price had mostly recouped to pre-hack trading levels and was approaching the $600 mark again at $598.73.

Bitfinex announced yesterday that losses from the high-profile hack had been spread among all its users, including those who had not been targeted in the security breach.

Read more: Businesses are stockpiling bitcoin to pay hacking ransoms

“After much thought, analysis, and consultation, we have arrived at the conclusion that losses must be generalised across all accounts and assets,” Bitfinex said in a statement.

“This is the closest approximation to what would happen in a liquidation context.”

Each user incurred a 36.067 per cent loss from the hack. Bitfinex has said it will compensate with tokens of credit.

“The bitcoin price has so far shaken off this hack pretty convincingly,” Charles Hayter, founder of CryptoCompare, told City A.M.

Read more: EU referendum wipes more than $100 off the price of bitcoin

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been plagued by breaches – whether they were intenal, malware based, using clever hacks or exploiting flaws. As with any nascent industry, mistakes will be made.”

The price of bitcoin jumped in the run-up to the EU referendum, at one point rising close to $770.

However, prices have remained reasonably steady since late June, despite the halving on 9 July. Bitcoins are now mined in blocks of 12.5, down from 25.

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