Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange, has reopened its doors after several months of uncertainty caused by a hack early this year.
On January 14, 2019, users were informed that the exchange had gone through an unscheduled maintenance.
We are currently experiencing an unscheduled maintenance, we are working to resume services as soon as possible. We will keep you updated.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 14, 2019
Several hours went by with no clear answers and customers that were getting desperate to know what was going on started questioning the validity of the “unscheduled maintenance.”
Please be more transparent with your updates. It's been 16 hours now and people who have funds on the exchange need to be updated on the issue and how long it is expected to resolve.
— ShadowKnight (@ShadowK30026818) January 14, 2019
Are funds safe?!!!
— Domien bueds (@DomienBueds) January 15, 2019
Maintenance is not something you experience, it is something you plan.
What you are experiencing are issues or problems.
— Crypto-Coins.Club (@cryptocoinsclub) January 15, 2019
24 hours after the incident, Cryptopia dropped the news that it had “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses.”
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 15, 2019
On January 16, 2019, the cryptocurrency exchange asked its users to keep and eye on the report of the ongoing investigation led by the New Zealand police to be updated on the matter, but kept a secret how much of the funds had been stolen.
As rumors were spreading that all funds had been stolen from the platform, Elementus, a blockchain search engine and analysis firm, reported on January 20, 2019, that as much as $16 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens were wiped out. During the following two weeks after the attack, hackers still had control of Cryptopia’s wallets and were able to extract another 1,675 ETH.
By February 4, 2019, Elementus outlined that the perpetrators had liquidated around $3.2 million of the stolen tokens in different exchanges, such as Binance, Etherdelta, and Huobi.
As of this morning, the hackers have liquidated $3.2m in tokens, with the bulk of that going to Etherdelta pic.twitter.com/QVbb8mSszX
— Elementus (@elementus_io) February 4, 2019
It wasn’t until February 27, 2019 that the cryptocurrency exchange communicated to its customers via Twitter that 9.4% of their holdings had been stolen.
We are continuing to work on assessing the impact incurred as a result of the hack in January. Currently, we have calculated that worst case 9.4% of our total holdings was stolen. Please keep an eye on our page for further updates today.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) February 27, 2019
On March 5, 2019, Cryptopia relaunched its website as read-only, showing the balances as they were before the hack. The exchange explained that the website should be used to reset passwords and two-factor authentication credentials as a way to reinforce users’ security.
The read only site will be live today, it will show balances as at 14th Jan 2019. Please use this site to reset passwords and 2FA credentials. We are finalising a rebate process for affected users, more details to follow. Thank you for your support during the last few weeks.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) March 4, 2019
After two months since the security breach happened, they resumed trading on 40 pairs that have been quantified as secure, and slowly started adding volume back to the exchange.
Update: We have resumed trading on 40 trade pairs that we have quantified as secure. We will continue to expand this list as we clear more coins.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) March 19, 2019
By April 4, 2019, the platform tweeted that half of all tokens listed had been secured, signaling a possible re-opening of their business.
We are 50% through securing all 457 coins listed to new private keys. Please remember to cancel any unwanted open orders as markets are being re-enabled one by one, and please take the time to refresh your 2FA, API key and password if you haven't already.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) April 4, 2019
Four months have passed since $20 million were taken off Cryptopia’s wallets, and finally the exchange announced that it will be opening deposits and withdrawals of some of the major digital assets.
Deposits and Withdrawals enabled for BTC, LTC and DOGE. Hot Wallet is being topped up manually between 9AM-5PM (NZST) Monday-Friday. Withdrawals will not be available outside of these times or on NZ public holidays (Good Friday 19 April, Easter Monday 22 April, ANZAC Day 25 April
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) April 15, 2019
The enthusiasm among the exchange’s users couldn’t be held and positive comments started pouring in.
Thank you for your commitment and professionalism. I still believe in Cryptopia as a benchmark in exchange for low Mcap cryptos. I am waiting to enable the withdrawal and deposits of other cryptos. Good job!
— Cleiton (@cleitonrat) April 16, 2019
You guys doing great unbelievable keep doing great work we support you Cryptopia.
— Ramesh Mech (@RameshMech16) April 16, 2019
Falling down is easy,giving up is easy ,throwing stones and casting blames is way easier but standing,fighting hard, owning up and not giving in is an attribate of a hero. Kudos @cryptopia till the end all the way to the moon.
— Rodney Adeka (@Rooney30608498) April 16, 2019
Cryptopia has been slowly coming back online as volume continues to increase after the announcement. For months, it has been strengthening its security and now the platform plans to get back in the game and fully resume its operations.