Coinsecure, a cryptocurrency exchange based in India, said Monday (April 16) that roughly $3 million worth of bitcoin were stolen from the company’s bitcoin wallet. The number of bitcoins stolen, the company said, comes to about 438.
Reuters reported that the theft stands among the largest in the country’s nascent cryptocurrency arena and might have the impact of dampening trading activity.
The cryptocurrency exchange currently has 200,000 users trading on a daily basis.
The bitcoins themselves had been stored in a password-protected digital wallet and had been transferred to a destination thus far unknown. The company said it would compensate its customers affected by the theft.
In the past, Reuters reported that India’s government has said crypto-trading is on par with high-return — and high-risk — Ponzi schemes. The Reserve Bank of India has “already dealt a blow” to the industry by keeping banks from trafficking in digital currencies. In addition, those banks must sever ties with exchanges over the next three months.
The newswire quoted legal experts who pointed toward regulatory needs for the industry. Those same experts said trading should not be restricted.
“It is for reasons like these that there is a need to regulate crypto-exchanges,” Anirudh Rastogi, who serves as founder and managing partner at TRA Law, told Reuters. “Pushing the exchange business out from the formal economy to the informal cash economy to operate under the radar will worsen the problem, not solve it.”
At the end of last week, in India, bitcoins were changing hands at 480,000 rupees, which translates to about $7,359. That was lower than the international market price of $7,771, reported the newswire.