Indian cryptocurrency exchange reports thefts in millions

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Indian cryptocurrency exchange reports thefts in millions

Mumbai: Coinsecure, a Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange, said it has lost 438.318 bitcoins worth almost Rs 19 crore from its wallet, the biggest reported in the country's fledging virtual currency market.

Coinsecure, on Friday, said that around 438 bitcoins, which were stored in a password-protected virtual wallet were siphoned off to an unknown destination on the internet after the details were leaked online.

The company maintains that it has never been hacked or compromised and the incident took place when its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was extracting BTG (Bitcoin Gold) to distribute to its customers.

The firm has registered a complaint with the Delhi Cyber cell after it was not convinced by the alibi given by its chief security officer (CSO) Amitabh Saxena.

Coinsecure had recently launched Android and iOS apps and it was moving towards a multi-coin architecture.

In its police complaint, the company claimed that on April 9, Saxena contacted them stating that the funds have been stolen due to an attack, but Kalra did not believe his explanation.

As the private keys are kept with Dr. Amitabh Saxena, we feel that he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident. The company has also requested police to impound his passport citing fear that he might fly out of country to evade legal hassle in India.

The robbery became the biggest reported incident in the country's fledgeling virtual currency market and is feared to further weaken trade in cryptocurrencies. Coinsecure have filed an FIR (First Information Report) with the Cyber Cell of Delhi and investigation has already begun on the case. He said, "Private keys should have never been exported online". It looks like a crime committed intentionally.

Kalra said that that even if funds are not recovered, his company is willing to pay from its own pocket to compensate its customers.

Police said that the company's servers have been seized to ascertain the extent of the system breach.

Coinsecure in its official statement has stated, "Irrespective of funds being recovered, we re-assure all our customers that you will be indemnified from our personal funds". In view of the issues such as money laundering, the Reserve Bank of India has directed entities (such as banks and payment gateways) regulated by the RBI to stop dealing with or providing any services to individuals or businesses indulging with virtual currencies in any form.

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