In early December, mining pool Nicehash was forced to close after allegedly being hacked, losing almost 4,450 BTC in the process. At the time, those bitcoins were worth around $60 million and they have appreciated substantially since then. Miners who had their newly minted coins stolen feared they were gone for good. To their delight, it’s now emerged that Nicehash will soon be back in business, and they’ll be reimbursing pool members in full.
Nicehash Arises From the Dead
News of Nicehash’s demise broke on December 6 after the mining pool’s website suddenly went down. This was followed by a Reddit announcement which explained: “Our payment system was compromised, and the contents of the Nicehash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken.”
Many commentators thought that was the end of the matter, and that the incident would be chalked up as yet another bitcoin hack that would go uncompensated. In the last 24 hours, however, Nicehash have sprung back to life. In a message despatched to their miners, the firm wrote:
We are letting you know that our service will be resumed today and your money will be paid back!…We are happy to announce we have been able to reserve the funds required to restore balances from a group of international investors. Old balances will therefore be restored by January 31, 2018. We need this interim period to ensure all legal paperwork is processed correctly, so please be patient while we do this.
Since the hack occurred, the price of bitcoin has risen by over 25%, bumping the value of the stolen coins to around $77 million. Nicehash hasn’t clarified whether miners will be paid in the form of fiat or bitcoin, though some pool members have reported that BTC balances are now showing in their dashboard, even though the funds won’t be accessible for a few more weeks.
The company’s CMO, Andrej Skraba, finished his letter by stating: “You have invested with us – not only your money, but your trust as well…We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that the hack may have caused. We hope you will want to continue to invest your money and your faith in the world’s largest crypto-mining marketplace.”
Miners are naturally delighted to have their funds returned, and within such a short space of time. Nicehash will now be on the hook for the value of the stolen funds to the investment group that bailed them out. Provided they tighten up their security to prevent such an incident occurring again, there’s no reason why the debt can’t be repaid within a relatively short period of time. For miners who feared they’d lost everything, the rebirth of Nicehash is a welcome early Christmas present.
Are you surprised that Nicehash are back in business so soon? Let us know in the comments section below.
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