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Bitcoins Worth Rs 19 Crore Stolen From India's Coinsecure, Company Claims Insider Job

In India, the Coinsecure theft has come at a time when Reserve Bank has barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Subhajit Sengupta | CNN-News18SubhajitSG

Updated:April 13, 2018, 4:13 PM IST
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Bitcoins Worth Rs 19 Crore Stolen From India's Coinsecure, Company Claims Insider Job
Picture for representation.

New Delhi: It is probably the biggest bitcoin theft India has ever seen. Bitcoins worth over Rs 19 crore have been siphoned off from Coinsecure, one of the biggest Bitcoin Exchanges operating in India.

The company blames their CSO Dr Amitabh Saxena for the theft on a declaration made on their homepage.

On the basis of the complaint given by Coinsecure, CyberCell of Delhi police has registered an FIR under section 66 of IT Act and the relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.

In their complaint, Coinsecure has told the Delhi police that on 9th April 2018 "we were informed by our CSO, Dr Amitabh Saxena that 438.318 bitcoins (worth Rs 19 crore-Approx) were stolen from our company's wallet due to some attack".

The complaint goes on to say that the company feels that "he is making a false story to divert our attention and he might have a role to play in this entire incident".

The director of the company Mohit Kalra has also requested the police to seize his passport so that he cannot flee the country.

Kalra had founded the company in 2014. Apart from him, it was only Dr Saxena who had the private keys to the exchange's main wallet. They were on the verge of moving into 'multi-coin architecture' where they would trade in other crypto currencies as well, apart from Bitcoin. This is certainly a huge setback for the company.

The company has assured its customers that they will be 'indemnified from our personal funds' if Coinsecure doesn't manage to get back the lost currencies. Though this is the first major theft from a crypto exchange in India, these kind of thefts are not uncommon across the world.

In January, a Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck was hacked and Cryptocurrency worth $ 530 million was stolen from there.

In December, NiceHash, a Slovenian cryptocurrency cloud mining marketplace, was hacked off $ 70 million in a coordinated highly professional cyber attack.

In India, the Coinsecure theft has come at a time when Reserve Bank has barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies. It had also decided to ring-fence the "RBI regulated entities from the risk of dealing with entities associated with virtual currencies".

This led to a number of small investors offloading their Bitcoins and converting them to rupees. Many of those, whose money is now stuck wanted to move out of the Bitcoin market.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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