Bitstamp, a widely used operational wallet for Bitcoin, has been temporarily suspended as a result of the company taking swift action following what it suspects is a problem with its hot wallet.
The firm suspended its services yesterday, posting the following message on its website:
BITSTAMP SERVICE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED
We have reason to believe that one of Bitstamp’s operational wallets was compromised on January 4th, 2015.
As a security precaution against compromises Bitstamp only maintains a small fraction of customer bitcoins in online systems. Bitstamp maintains more than enough offline reserves to cover the compromised bitcoins.
IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE DEPOSITS TO PREVIOUSLY ISSUED BITCOIN DEPOSIT ADDRESSES. THEY CANNOT BE HONORED!
Customer deposits made prior to January 5th, 2015 9:00 UTC are fully covered by Bitstamp’s reserves. Deposits made to newly issued addresses provided after January 5th, 2015 9:00 UTC can be honored.
Bitstamp takes our security and soundness very seriously. In an excess of caution, we are suspending service as we continue to investigate. We will return to service and amend our security measures as appropriate.
This morning, Bitstamp became temporarily suspended from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index as its API has been unavailable since 09:13 GMT, with the following message being displayed when deposits are attempted.
This prudent action by Bitstamp to investigate and resolve potential technological errors clearly demonstrates the advancements which have recently been made by virtual currency related companies, in that they are now becoming viewed as a leading edge group of developers which will act as the framework for designing new financial technology methodology which may power the future.
British, Swiss and US government officials, along with many mainstream venture capital funds have publicly voiced their support and funded Bitcoin initiatives over the past year, therefore responsible actions to protect investments and customers’ best interests such as this one by Bitstamp should serve to reinforce confidence among consumers, regulators and corporate investors alike.