Users of Unocoin reported that their funds had been stolen over the weekend, prompting the India-based bitcoin exchange to temporarily close and begin issuing reimbursements.
The scope of the thefts – constituting transactions of 0.25 BTC (about $840 at current prices) from an undisclosed number of accounts – is not yet immediately known. The startup – which operates both an exchange service as well as a hosted wallet – indicated in a blog post published earlier today that the incident only a small subset of its customers base.
That said, Unocoin accepted the blame for the thefts and said that it would refund the affected users.
The startup explained:
Unocoin suspended logins in light of the incident, though signs on social media indicate that access is being returned to at least some users. In the past couple of hours, several customers have reported on Twitter that their funds had already been given back to them.
The ability to send transactions has also been suspended, which the exchange said would be brought back online pending further security checks.
"The Send feature will be enabled once our security experts feel that it is perfectly safe to do so."
The exchange has raised nearly than $2 million in venture capital to date, including a $1.5 million funding round announced last September.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Unocoin.
Wallet theft image via Shutterstock
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.