About two weeks ago, the New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia was given permission to resume its operations following a hack in January that saw around $16 million in digital assets stolen. The exchange reportedly had developed cold feet after it was told that it could start trading in Bitcoin and other digital assets again, not eager to get things rolling. It apparently wants more time to assess the situation and to ensure that balances are going to be better protected.
According to the official Cryptopia Discord channel, a staff member with the exchange, going by the name “Gevorg” on Discord, posted a message on Sunday in which he explains that the company is not yet ready to relaunch operations. The message reads, “While the Police statement that they are no longer constraining our return to operations and trading, it would be extremely reckless for us to do this until we can fully identify the losses and ensure that the balance is absolutely secure. NZ legislation makes it a serious crime for a company or a director of a company to allow that company to trade recklessly thereby placing creditors assets and property at further risk. That work is now underway.”
Gevorg continues, “It is important to consider the timeline of this event: Firstly, the crime/hack/breach was identified on the evening of 14 January 2019. The company staff that identified the event immediately froze the exchange and locked down the platform; they then notified the NZ government authorities, first the NZ Police High Tech Crime Group and second, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC, a division of the [Government] Communications Security Bureau or GCSB), third, the NZ Financial Management Authority.”
He further points out, “In cooperation with NZ Police and NCSC they identified key specialist staff who were tasked with working with the investigators to clone systems to preserve forensic evidence for investigation,” adding, “This took 3.5 weeks to complete and our specialist staff have now turned to carrying the work that is necessary to ensure that assets are retained in a secure environment.”
There had been some concern, following the initial hack, that the exchange would shut down completely and that the delays were just stall tactics similar to those that had been seen with the QuadrigaCX debacle. While the update isn’t necessarily indicative of the company’s return to operational status, it will hopefully be a precursor to an imminent relaunch.
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