Bitcoin exchanges and platforms never seem far from scandal, with crypto investors always nervously awaiting the next bitcoin hack or data breach.
Now, Seychelles-based bitcoin futures exchange BitMEX has sparked panic among bitcoin traders and investors after accidentally exposing thousands of its users emails–with the exchange’s Twitter account then compromised shortly after.
BitMEX this week sent out thousands of its users’ email addresses along with a weekly newsletter after inadvertently CC’ing recipients instead of BCC’ing them.
“We are aware that some of our users have received a general user update email earlier today, which contained the email addresses of other users,” BitMEX said in a statement posted to its blog, adding an apology for the leak.
“Our team have acted immediately to contain the issue and we are taking steps to understand the extent of the impact. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to identify the root cause of the fault and we will be in touch with any users affected by the issue.”
The exchange has blamed a bug for the leak claiming the error has been “identified and fixed.”
BitMEX, known for offering 100-times leverage trading, is currently being investigated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allowing U.S. traders to use its platform without a licence.
“This kind of thing is a massive privacy breach with potentially serious consequences,” Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at Compound Finance, said via Twitter, adding: “[It’s] the last thing a derivatives exchange needs to deal with during a CFTC investigation.”
BitMEX has requested its users add BitMEX’s support email to their contact lists to decrease phishing emails along with adding 2-factor authentication.
Shortly after BitMEX warned users about the email leak, the exchange’s Twitter account @BitMEXdotcom posted two tweets that were promptly deleted.
The first read “Hacked” and the second advised followers to: “Take Your [bitcoin] and run. Last day for withdrawals.”
The bitcoin price, which is still choppy after a roller-coaster October, barely reacted to news of the leak, remaining steady at a little over $9,000 per bitcoin.
Meanwhile, Malta-based bitcoin exchange Binance, the world’s largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange by volume, warned its users to change their Binance-registered email accounts following BitMEX’s blunder.
BitMEX, known for offering 100-times leverage trading, has been criticised previously for potentially exposing traders to too much risk, with economist and bitcoin skeptic Nouriel Roubini attacking the exchange and claiming it “may be openly involved in systematic illegality.”