Electroneum relaunches a month after digital currency's user accounts 'hacked'

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A rival to Bitcoin developed in Kent has relaunched after introducing tougher security measures following a hack on hundreds of its users’ accounts.

Customers of Electroneum, headquartered in Maidstone, were advised to redownload its app from noon today to access the digital currency.

It comes after the company was forced to suspend its launch in November after raising millions of dollars in a so-called initial coin offering or ICO, an unregulated method of raising funds for new cryptocurrency ventures.

Electroneum was forced to abandon its launch after hundreds of user accounts were hacked
Electroneum was forced to abandon its launch after hundreds of user accounts were hacked

It had to appoint a security agency that works for the US Department of Defense to audit its systems after discovering hundreds of its users’ accounts had suffered a cyber attack.

It has required all app users to reset their passwords, then confirm their account by text message and set up a five-digit PIN.

Electroneum aims to offer a simple way to make transactions for the online gaming industry, with a particular focus on mobile users.

Its arrival comes as interest in cryptocurrencies has never been higher, with Bitcoin priced at more than $17,000 (£12,700) each.

Bitcoin futures began trading on the Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets on Monday, the first time investors have been exposed to it via a large, regulated trading platform.

Bitcoin. Picture: BTC Keychain
Bitcoin. Picture: BTC Keychain

Announcing the relaunch of Electroneum, chief executive and founder Richard Ells said the company has signed an agreement with a mobile operator which has more than five million smartphones in the market.

He said the company is in the final stages of negotiations with a number of other operators.

However, customers hoping to “mine” for Electroneum – the process of generating more of the currency – were told they have to wait until the new year.

In a blog post, Mr Ells said: “In line with the detailed data requirements of these partnerships we are releasing the mobile miner section of the app in the new year as we need to ensure we carry out a staged rollout with commercial sized groups of beta testers.”

He added the wallet section of the app, which gives people access to their Electroneum currency, is fully functional.

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