The Bitfinex hack resulted in the loss of over $70 million worth of Bitcoin, which is to be felt not only by the affected users, but by everyone that has funds on the Hong-Kong based exchange, which has recently stated that all balances will be reduced by 36% in an attempt to minimize the impact on the affected users.
After the announcement to distribute or “socialize” losses among all platform users that held Bitcoin on the exchange, Bitfinex is currently in the process of bringing their website online with limited functionality. While a cached version of the website with no functionalities is currently online, users will soon be able to log into their accounts and see their balances. Trading and funding functions will be disabled for obvious reasons. Users will be forced to take security precautions after the website is brought online, such as resetting the password and 2FA.
Bitfinex advises users to log into their account when allowed in order to check their balances and any losses that the hack may have resulted in. The stolen funds will be represented in users’ balances as a “BFX” token that will be tradeable in the future, which will allow Bitfinex to resume activity and to benefit from trading fees from said tokens.
Trading and funding activity are also to be reactivated in the following days in a modular process, where funding (deposits and withdrawals) will be reinstated first, following trading functions.
The process to spread losses around by all users was never attempted in the crypto world before, and it is unclear if it’s completely within the limits of the law.
Although keeping your Bitcoins in an exchange may be comfortable, the safest thing to do will always be to store them in a private wallet to which you have the private key, and of course never invest more than you can afford, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies.