Story by: Billy Bambrough
The bitcoin price hit $6,388 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange last night after starting the year at under $4,000. The bitcoin price has also extended its lead over the wider cryptocurrency market, adding to its so-called market dominance—how much bitcoin contributes to the total value of all cryptocurrencies—which is now nudging 60%, its highest in six months.
Bitcoin has somehow added almost 7% over the last three-day trading period despite some $40 million of bitcoin (some 7,000 of the digital tokens) being stolen from the Malta-based Binance exchange, the world’s largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange by volume, and Binance’s chief executive Changpeng Zhao sparking a controversial debate about “re-organizing” the bitcoin blockchain to recover the funds.
On Wednesday Changpeng Zhao, who is often known simply as CZ, revealed hackers had stolen funds from its customers and froze deposits and withdrawals from Binance accounts while it got a handle on the situation.
“The hackers used a variety of techniques, including phishing, viruses and other attacks,” CZ wrote in the statement, saying Binance is investigating the breach.
With only bitcoin and no other cryptocurrency stolen, it would be typical for the bitcoin price to move sharply downwards following the news, as it has done in the aftermath of previous large scale security breaches at major exchanges.