Hacked Crypto Exchange Altsbit Announces Shut Down


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Altsbit, an Italian crypto exchange that was hacked earlier in February says it will shut down operations after finishing a partial refund for affected customers.

Altsbit Publishes Partial Refund Plan

According to a statement on its website, Altsbit says the crypto exchange platform will terminate its operations in May 2020. The announcement comes following a hack suffered on Wednesday (February 5, 2020).

An excerpt from the platform’s statement reads:

“After a careful analysis we managed to understand the stolen quantities, fortunately a good part of the coins were kept on cold storage, these coins will be returned to the users of Altsbit exchange not having the possibility to compensate for these losses, they will be distributed among all users of the platform each coin will have its calculation based on the percentage that was saved during the attack.”

With the platform’s cold wallet storage not enough to compensate for the full extent of the hack, Altsbit says users will have to take a hair cut on their deposits. The partial refund process will begin on February 10, 2020, and run until May 8, 2020.

Altsbit also provided an updated accounting of the cryptos stolen by the hackers which include $63,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The attack also saw the platform lose altcoins like Komodo (KMD) and Pirate Chain (ARRR). According to Altsbit, only 53 percent of the stolen Bitcoin and 28 percent of the stolen Ethereum will be refunded.

Small Volume Crypto Exchange Platforms Facing Extinction

Crypto-related cybercrimes and tightening government regulatory policies are contributing to negatively impact the ability of small volume exchange platforms to maintain their operations. Altsbit isn’t the first crypto exchange to go under after suffering a malicious cyber breach with New Zealand-based Cryptopia going into liquidation back in 2019.

A recent Chainalysis report shows that crypto exchange hacks increased in 2019 but the total amount of tokens stolen reduced, likely due to improved security measures. These robust defense protocols mean increased cost for exchanges, some of which lack the trading volume to ensure sufficient revenues to fund such expenses.

Financial regulators are also enacting stricter laws which in turn increases the cost of compliance for crypto exchange platforms. Again, small volume platforms might not have the ability to cope with these increasing operational overheads.

As previously reported by BTCManager, the establishment of the European Union’s (EU) updated anti-money laundering laws (AMLD5) could see smaller crypto businesses disappearing from the market.

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