Livecoin cryptocurrency exchange closes down after being hacked in December

Russian cryptocurrency exchange Livecoin has shut down after it was hacked last month.

In the hack in December, those behind it changed cryptocurrency exchange rates on Livecoin and the company lost control over all of its servers, back ends, nodes and social media accounts. Despite efforts by Livecoin, including establishing an alternate domain name, the company has pulled the plug — in its words, a “hard decision to close the business.”

Livecoin’s attack stands out because those behind the attack set the exchange rate for bitcoin to $450,000, Ethereum to $15,000 and XRP to $17. Then the hackers began cashing out accounts, generating profits in the process.

As noted at the time, it was odd how the funds were transacted, leaving a number of questions. Given that the hackers are said to have cashed out following the inflated exchange rates, did they withdraw cash or transfer amounts to other cryptocurrencies? If they withdrew in cash, which would appear to be one path, how did they manage to obtain those amounts?

Finance Magnates reported today that although Livecoin gained some control of the hacked servers and modified prices, the attack still enabled the attackers to cash out user accounts with “gigantic profits.” The amount stolen is not known.

“Our service has been damaged hard in a technical and financial way. There is no way to continue operative business in these conditions, so we take a hard decision to close the business and paying the remaining funds to clients,” the exchange said in a statement.

Livecoin is, as much as it can, trying to do the right thing by its customers with its closure, although some on Twitter are suggesting that the information required to withdraw funds is suspicious. To withdraw funds, account holders are being asked to provide details of their first deposit, provide identification information and address verification, a selfie with opened passport of ID card, proof of device they used to log into Livecoin, origin of funds and video verification.

Livecoin’s closure comes as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue their roller coaster ride on prices. Bitcoin was trading at $36,678.17 as of 10:24 p.m. EST after hitting a record high of $41,528.79 on Jan. 8.

Image: Livecoin

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