A Bitfineix exchange in Shanghai has shut down after losing a record $1 billion in bitcoin after a hacker breached its network, the firm said.
The company’s CEO, Jihan Wu, said in a statement that the loss was due to a cyber attack that disrupted its trading and other functions.
Bitfinext has been dealing with the situation since last month.
Wu said the exchange had been unable to pay out the funds owed to it because of the “complexity” of the matter.
Bitstamp was founded in 2016 and is the second-largest bitcoin exchange in the world.
The Tokyo-based exchange said it would be “taking the necessary steps” to regain its operations.
It said it had also taken the necessary measures to protect customer data, and that it would not allow the theft of customer information.
Wu did not say when the company would reopen.
Bitcoin has been gaining popularity in Asia and the US in recent years, as traders seek ways to evade governments and the banks that control the virtual currency.
The value of bitcoin has surged by hundreds of thousands of dollars since January, reaching $6,300 on Friday.
The digital currency has become more valuable since China banned bitcoin trading in January and it is banned in Japan.
The government said last month it was tightening restrictions on the virtual currencies.
The new law, which took effect on July 1, prohibits users from sending or receiving more than $10,000 from one person, and prohibits the transfer of more than 1.2 million bitcoins.
The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday it had notified the Chinese authorities of the breaches.
It did not give any further details.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong-based Bitcoin Association of China said Wu’s statement on the incident was “not appropriate” and that the group “does not endorse” Wu’s position.
Bitmain’s bitcoin mining unit, Bitmain Semiconductor, is also under investigation in the Chinese mainland.
In May, the group announced it would suspend operations for 90 days in Hong Kong to improve cyber security.
China is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a bloc of nations that includes Russia, Brazil and South Korea.
It has imposed strict controls on the digital currency in recent months, tightening limits on trading and banning online exchanges.
Wu also said Bitfinexs “business will be fine,” according to the statement.
A Reuters reporter who visited the exchange on Thursday saw a large banner advertising the exchange.
“We are all very grateful for the support of the community and the Bitcoin community,” Wu said in the statement, according to Reuters.
Bitcoinex, a Bitcoin exchange based in the southern Chinese city of Chongqing, had $1.1 billion (US$1.12 billion) in total trading volume in June, according a Bloomberg report.
Wu noted that Bitfinexes bitcoin trading volume increased more than 5,000% from the end of June.
Bitfinity, the world’s biggest online marketplace for bitcoin, is based in Tokyo.
The Japanese exchange has seen strong growth in the digital currencies market since 2014, when its founders raised money to start the business.
It is now worth more than three times as much as it was in the beginning.