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Cryptopia was a New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange based in Christchurch, which was the target of a $16 million USD theft in January 2019. The exchange closed about May 15, 2019 and began liquidation.[1]


Cryptopia was founded in 2014 by Rob Dawson and Adam Clark. They quit their jobs in 2017 in order to work on the exchange full time.[2]

In May 2017 Cryptopia launched the New Zealand Dollar Token (NZDT), a cryptocurrency whose value is supposed to be pegged to the New Zealand Dollar.[3]

From May to December 2017 Cryptopia grew from 30,000 to 1,000,000 users.[4] In January 2018, they temporarily suspended new account registrations and trading in their Dogecoin and Litecoin markets, claiming they could not handle the influx of trades.[5]

In January 2018, Cryptopia announced that ASB Bank would be closing their accounts associated with NZDT in February. As a result, Cryptopia stopped accepting deposits into NZDT and told customers to withdraw the associated funds by the closing date.[6][7] Cryptopia planned to relaunch NZDT in early 2019 after making a deal with a new, smaller bank.[8]

On 15 January 2019 Cryptopia announced that they had "suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses".[9] A report from Elementus, a New York based blockchain company, estimated the value of stolen funds to be around $23 million NZD ($16 million USD). It also stated that the theft began on 14 January and continued until the 17th.[10]


  1. ^ Reidy, Madison (15 May 2019). "Liquidators called in to hacked cryptocurrency business". RNZ News. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. ^ Hutching, Chris (January 10, 2018). "From a two-man operation a year ago, Cryptopia surges on bitcoin".
  3. ^ Hutching, Chris (May 12, 2017). "Christchurch company launches new digital currency".
  4. ^ Mitchell, Paul (December 31, 2017). "Kiwi bitcoin investors concerned over Australian bank controversy".
  5. ^ Ryan, Holly (January 9, 2018). "Customers furious as Cryptopia halts trading". The New Zealand Herald.
  6. ^ Ryan, Holly (January 31, 2018). "Bank closes Cryptopia account". The New Zealand Herald.
  7. ^ Edmunds, Susan (February 1, 2018). "Bank pulls support for cryptocurrency platform Cryptopia".
  8. ^ Mandow, Nikki (November 8, 2018). "Suspended NZ crypto 'coins' to be re-released". Newsroom.
  9. ^ "Police say Cryptopia investigation a 'complex' situation". The New Zealand Herald. January 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Theunissen, Matthew (January 26, 2019). "Cryptopia funds still being drained by hackers while police investigated". RNZ News.

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