The extraordinary price increase of Bitcoin means that its market capitalization now exceeds the annual output of entire economies, and the estimated value of some of the world's most important billionaires.

TOKYO – The bitcoin miner based in Slovenia NiceHash says it is investigating a security breach and the possible theft of tens of millions of dollars in bitcoins, meanwhile, the value of the virtual currency has shot up to a new record.

NiceHash said in a statement on its website Thursday that it had halted operations for 24 hours and was working to verify how many bitcoins were taken.

There was no immediate response from NiceHash to an email request for more details. Unconfirmed reports said that more than 4,000 bitcoins worth more than $ 60 million were missing.

"The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement agencies and we are cooperating urgently with them," he said. [19659010] The statement urged users to change their passwords online.

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Problems with the website during the last day caused alarm and complaints, and many Bitcoin owners posted panicked comments about NiceHash's social media accounts.

The price of bitcoin has risen to more than $ 14,100.74, earning $ 1,000 in less than a day, according to coindesk, a website that monitors the price. That compares to a value of less than $ 1,000 at the beginning of the year.

Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency in the world. These currencies are not linked to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously. Basically they are lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are marketed. Bitcoin miners and other virtual currencies help maintain the honesty of systems by putting the power of the computer in a chain of blocks, a global checking account of each transaction that prevents cheaters from spending the same digital currency twice.

NiceHash is a cryptocurrency mining application that provides a computer to verify the transactions of Bitcoin users.

Online security is a vital concern for such transactions.

In Japan, after the failure of a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox, new laws were enacted to regulate bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Monte Gox closed in February 2014, saying it had lost about 850,000 bitcoins, possibly hackers.

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