As the price for bitcoin soars to new heights it seems that it has gained some unwanted attention.
It seems that the black hat fraternity has decided that the time was right to hack a slew of affiliated sites including Bitcoin-Central, Instawallet and Paytunia bringing all sites offline, permanently in the case of Instawallet.
You may remember Bitcoin-Central from the news a few months back as the first bitcoin exchange to start down the road to banking legitimacy when they announced that they had partnered with Aqoba and Credit Mutuel to begin operations as Payments Service Provider (PSP).
Bitcoin-Central reports that all 41,854.5915 BTC of customer funds (some \$5,315,951.67 USD at today's rates) is stored in bitcoin address 1LrPYjto3hsLzWJNstghuwdrQXB96KbrCy and is fully under control by them. They also report that "Due to the recent and important price fluctuations we will cancel some outstanding orders before reopening. For example if the average price stays above 100 EUR/BTC we will cancel all asks below 110 EUR/BTC. No trades will be reversed."
Bitcoin-Central is expecting to have their services back up and running within 48 hours and have promised to give 24 hours notice before going live. Instawallet however has been permanently compromised and is closing.
If you have bitcoins with Instawallet the outline of a recovery plan that will be announced sometime in the near future is below;-
- For the first 90 days we will accept claims for individual Instawallets. Your wallet's URL and key will be used to pre-populate a form to file the claim.
- After 90 days, if no other claim has been received for the same url, your Instawallet balance under 50 BTC will be refunded. If several claims have been filed for the same url, we will process those claims on a case by case basis, under the presumption that the claim we received first belongs to the legitimate balance holder.
- Claims for wallets that hold a balance greater than 50 BTC will be processed on a case by case and best efforts basis.
At the moment it is unknown how much or if any bitcoins have been stolen from Instawallet.