Bitcoins Worth Rs19 Crore Stolen From Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange CoinSecure

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"As 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 fraud came to light when users who had bought bitcoins from the exchange were complaining that they were not able to access their funds for the past few days.

"The hack that happened is also too good to be true".

"Private keys should have never been exported online". In its statement and the FIR, the company has stated that the explanation of the event by its CSO Dr. Amitabh Saxena was unsatisfactory and he should not be allowed to fly overseas until the matter gets resolved. "It further said that regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time". It realised that the bitcoins had been stolen after finding that all the cryptocurrency it had stored offline had vanished. The CEO of the bitcoin exchange, Mohit Kalra, has accused his Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of stealing 438 Bitcoin from the operator's main wallet.

In his complaint, chief executive Kalra also stressed that the CSO might be a flight-risk, asking the police to seize his passport to keep him from flying out of the country. Following the theft, private keys of the cold wallet were leaked online.

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"In this case, the primary problem is there was lack of perhaps technical expertise or maybe transparency in the way each of these processes is handled", said Joel John, a cryptocurrency analyst with Outlier Ventures, a venture firm that invests in decentralised technologies. "Right now there is a fragmentation between exchanges with regards to best practices", John added.

Coinsecure, which has over two lakh users across the country, told police that they got to know about the theft on Monday while going through all the wallets. The amount siphoned out was considered to be around 438 Bitcoins valued at nearly Rs 19 crore, according to complaint filed by the company.

The bitcoins that have been compromised are 438.31859715 in number. Bounties for cyber attacks on crypto exchanges is not new, thanks to Binance exchange placed $250,000 on the head of a hacker who tried to steal from its customers. Now, the amount left from the stolen wallet is 139.420 bitcoins. "For this reason, there was no clue about the transfer of bitcoins".

Coinsecure's efforts may be hampered by India's intensified crackdown on cryptocurrencies even as global prices rebound. "If they are the ones who are messing up, it is really hard to go back to the government and say you need to be more relaxed", John said.

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