Bitfinex has halted every trading on its platform in response to a security breach that has seen around $72 million worth of bitcoins stolen from users.

every digital token deposits and withdrawals own also been halted, Bitfinex said.

Bitcoin is a digital currency underpinned by blockchain, a distributed ledger technology

Hong Kong-based technology law expert Paul Haswell of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: “The HKMA may crave to focus on the digital currency market as more banks and other financial institutions glance to invest in bitcoins.”

“In a market enjoy Hong Kong, where there is a growing appetite for bitcoins, but small to no education as to the risks associated with them, it may be period for regulation. While the HKMA has published cybersecurity guidelines and warned about the risks associated with virtual currencies, it currently has no control over virtual currency exchanges enjoy Bitfinex,” Haswell said.

Zane Tackett, director of community for Bitfinex said on Reddit that 119,756 bitcoins had been stolen from users’ accounts.  

“We are undertaking a review to determine which users own been affected by the breach. While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, bitfinex.com will be taken down,” Bitfinex said.

“The theft is being reported to — and we are co-operating with — law enforcement,” it said.

The exchange is “silent evaluating the various options for addressing customer losses. At this period we don’t own any details that we can share on this, nor own we made any decisions regarding this”, Tackett said.