No one remembers the first Mt. Gox hack. It was a small sum, even by 2011’s standards, and the exchange reimbursed all users. The incident was to prove significant, however, for it set in motion a string of attacks on other bitcoin platforms that began the very next day. By the time the dust had settled six weeks later, four separate thefts had occurred, culminating in the loss of more than 178,000 bitcoins.
Also read: Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born
The First Bitcoin Exchange Hack
Summer 2011 was a heady time for the internet. Twitter was still good, deplatforming had yet to become a thing, and free speech was taken for granted. Back then, you could say what you liked, how you liked, to whoever you liked, and if that person didn’t like it, they could turn off their computer and go for a long walk in the sunshine, which solved the problem. Anyone with any sense wasn’t walking anywhere in mid-2011, however, because everything that mattered was happening on the internet, and it was riveting.
For purveyors of the illicit, the insurrectionary, and the innovative, June 2011 might just go down as the most exciting month on the internet yet. It began with Gawker blowing Silk Road wide open on June 1, and would culminate, on June 25, with hacker group Lulzsec releasing its last data dump, comprising millions of passwords and sensitive data from scores of corporations. Sandwiched in between all this chaos were two noteworthy bitcoin hacks that weren’t of Lulzsec’s doing. The first, on June 19, was the first exchange hack in Bitcoin history, with the second occurring a day later as a direct result of this incursion.