Bitpoint is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. They themselves announced this week that they have been hacked, with 3.5 billion yen (32 million dollars) being taken from cryptocurrencies. The loot consisted of bitcoin but also of XRP.
The cryptocurrency was stolen from hot wallets. These are wallets that are connected to the internet. Large numbers of cryptocurrency are often stored in cold wallets, which is best compared to a hardware wallet that does not have to be constantly online.
Of the 3.5 billion yen, around 2.5 billion yen was owned by customers. The remaining amount belongs to the exchange itself, according to the announcement.
Bitpoint stated that it has identified “an unauthorized outflow of virtual currency” and immediately suspended all services. On the exchange, you can trade in five cryptocurrencys: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and ripple (XRP).
“We are working hard to find out the cause, to identify the outflow and to minimize the damage,” can also be read in the message.
The hack on Bitpoint is the sixth hack on a cryptocurrency exchange worldwide in 2019. According to research by The Block, the total amount stolen this year is 1.39 billion dollars.
Another Japanese exchange was hacked last year. In September 2018, Zaif was robbed of $ 60 million.
Manage your own coins
A common saying is, “not your keys, not your bitcoin.” In other words, if you do not have your private key, you are not the owner of your coins. That does not only apply to bitcoin, but to all your cryptocurrencys.
You are in possession of your private key if you have created your own wallet and save your coins in it. And wallets come in different shapes and sizes. You have apps, websites, downloadable programs and even hardware wallets.
Do you have your coins on a trade show? Then you actually keep the coins in the wallet of that exchange. Only the stock exchange has access to the private keys and you don’t. That means that the stock market is a central party that you have to trust with the management of your coins. In addition, because of the high volume of cryptocurrency, an exchange is a popular target of hackers.