Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin is turning to fundraising channels as a means to reimburse lost assets after around US$2 million (HK$15.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency was stolen during a cyberattack this May. The exchange is in an effort to relaunch by the end of July.

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that can be transferred between individuals without the involvement of third parties such as banks, card companies or services such as PayPal. Bitcoin and Ether are both forms of cryptocurrency, while companies such as Gatecoin host exchange platforms for individuals to trade these currencies.

Aurélien Menant, founder and CEO of Gatecoin. Photo: Gene, via YouTube.

Gatecoin said it terminated the contracts of two of its technology team members and is recruiting new staff before relaunching. The exchange claimed to be raising funds through equity investment, debenture investment and profits made from block trades.

“Our first priority is working to enable our clients to withdraw their funds in Ether (ETH) which was the main crypto-asset stolen during the breach,” Thomas Glucksmann, marketing manager for Gatecoin, told HKFP. Glucksmann added that it may take several weeks to reimburse stolen funds in full through fundraising.

Bitcoin logo. Photo: BTC Keychain, via Flickr.

Ether is a digital token issued by the peer-to-peer computer network known as Ethereum. The digital token is currently the second most traded cryptocurrency on most exchanges, after Bitcoin. The value of one Ether is approximately HK$127 at the moment of publication.

Gatecoin said that as many as 185,000 Ethers and 250 bitcoins were lost during the cyber-attack in May this year.

Gatecoin said that it cannot share further details regarding the cause of the security breach at this time as a cyber-crime investigation is still ongoing.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.