Earlier this week, the British Company Bitstamp was forced to suspend its operation following a hacking of the company in which five million dollars worth of Bitcoins, the electronic currency, was stolen. Hacking is not unusual in the world of Bitcoin exchanges. In February of 2014, Mt. Gox, then the largest Bitcoin exchange went out of business following a massive hack resulting in the theft of 437 million dollars worth of Bitcoins. It should be noted, however, that the amount of Bitcoins stolen in this hacking represents only a small amount of the Bitcoins held by Bitstamp which wisely locks most of their Bitcoins in computers that are not connected to the Internet and therefore not susceptible to hacking. This is the type of security that companies such as Sony should be doing when trying to protect some of their digital assets and data.
Bitstamp has indicated that it is shutting down only temporarily as a security precaution, however, they warned Bitstamp customers not to make deposits to previously issued deposit addresses. Although Bitcoins continue to grow in acceptance and use, it is important for people using this form of digital currency to be sure that the companies with which they do business in this regard are providing heightened security.