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21 days offline as police consider re-opening Cryptopia

21 days offline as police consider re-opening Cryptopia

Authorities shed light on "protracted and complex investigation"

Credit: Dreamstime

Police in New Zealand are exploring the possibility of re-opening Cryptopia in early February, as the hacked Christchurch business enters its third week offline.

That’s according to Newsroom reports, citing a letter from authorities to investors of the crypto-currency trading company.

Following a lengthy radio silence, a letter from New Zealand Police dated 25 January hinted that the exchange platform could potentially return to trading in early February, but stressed “there is no confirmed date when the company will resume business operations”.

Sent from “investigations team - Operation Crypto”, police also reiterated that “this is - and will remain - a protracted and complex investigation”.

The letter comes as the fall-out impacting the Cryptopia security breach continues, with the Christchurch-based company still unable to operate.

Three weeks after suffering “significant losses” following un-authorised access to the Cryptopia Exchange, users remain blocked from accessing the website.

The update follows reports that as much as $23 million worth of crypto-currency may have been stolen during the security breach, according to new expert analysis.

Calculations from Elementus, a New York-based blockchain specialist firm, estimated the total value of the stolen crypto-currency - which includes ether and various tokens - at current market prices to stand at approximately $23 million.

The figure significantly surpasses early media speculation, which reported losses ranging from $2.5 million to as much as $11 million, despite a lack of official confirmation.

“This number includes only what's on the Ethereum blockchain (ether and ERC20 tokens),” said Max Galka, co-founder and CEO of Elementus. “We have not examined the Bitcoin blockchain or other blockchains to see if funds were stolen there as well.

“For the last few days, the hackers have been shuffling the funds around in small pieces and gradually moving them into exchanges to cash out.”


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