Bitcoin Hack Of $62M Causes NiceHash CEO To Quit

Announcements, Crime, News | January 2, 2018 By:

Marko Kobal, co-founder of NiceHash, has stepped down as CEO several weeks after hackers stole more than 4,700 bitcoins.

NiceHash is a Slovenian cryptocurrency cloud mining marketplace that connects sellers of hashing power (miners) with buyers of hashing power. The company was founded by Marko Kobal and Matjaž Škorjanc in 2014. Buyers rent computing hashing power through NiceHash’s online platform. Sellers provide hashing power by connecting to the company’s marketplace with NiceHash’s own mining software.

On December 6, 2017, hackers reportedly stole $62 million worth of bitcoin from the Slovenian cryptocurrency mining pool. The breach came to light when a large number of users reported on social media that their NiceHash wallets had been emptied. That led to NiceHash admitting via a release that “there has been a security breach involving (the) NiceHash website.”

According to reports, the breach has divided the cryptocurrency community, with some believing it’s an inside job and blaming company incompetence. Others are choosing to stick with NiceHash, citing a lack of better alternatives.

Last week, Kobal stepped down from his role as NiceHash’s CEO after the company scrambled to respond to the hack. Kobal confirmed his resignation with a LinkedIn post. He said that the company has been working on a solution to ensure that all users are reimbursed, and that he will step aside to “allow new management to lead the organization through its next, exciting period of growth.” He will be replaced by Zdravko Poljašević.

“I have been incredibly privileged to share in the excitement of growing NiceHash since its earliest days,” Kobal said. “I have every confidence in the ability of our extraordinary team to develop the service, and I expect to see the company prosper in the coming years.”

NiceHash said in its announcement that it will reimburse the affected users. The company stated that they have now been able to reserve the funds required to restore balances from a group of international investors in their business. The exact date of reimbursement for old balances will be announced by January 31. It added that they need this interim period to ensure all legal paperwork is processed correctly.