The exchange went down on October 14, 2016, citing technical problems. But clients began to suspect foul play when Bitcurex failed to re-launch after one week, rumours started circulating in the community that something more serious was going on behind the scenes.
According to a rough English translation of today’s statement on the Bitcurex homepage, the theft took place on the 13th of October. Following the incident, security protocols were implemented and forensics firms were called in to the investigate the incident and track the stolen coins on the blockchain.
On October 17, the parent company of Bitcurex, Digital Future Ltd, lodged a criminal complaint with the authorities in Lodz, Poland:
“On 10.17.2016 the company's management Digital Future Sp. Sp z oo K filed with the District Prosecutor's Office in Lodz for criminal prosecution.”At press time, it’s unclear what percentage of overall assets the theft represents, and what portion of leftover funds clients will be allowed to recover.
The embattled exchange has provided a withdrawal form for clients to withdraw available BTC, PLN, DASH, EUR and USD deposits:
“The website owner reserves, that due to technical issues, the time to verify the information contained in it can take up to 7 days from the date of receipt of the form along with the required attachments.”Bitcurex experienced a similar theft in March of 2014, when hackers managed to steal a portion of the Bitcoin that resided on the exchange's hot wallet; the amount of BTC that was stolen in 2014 was not disclosed by Bitcurex.
Centralized exchanges have been Bitcoin's Achilles' heel since inception, but the rise of P2P-style, decentralized crypto-currency exchanges such as Bitsquare may be a solution.