Thief scored 24,000 Bitcoins, worth almost a quarter-million dollars.
Bitfloor, an exchange for virtual betting currency Bitcoin, has had to suspend its operations following a criminal hack of its servers which made off with 24,000 Bitcoins, worth almost a quarter-million dollars, leaving the company cash-strapped, reports the publication Arstechnica.
The company's founder reported that the exchange no longer has enough cash to cover all of its deposits.
Arstechnica notes that the hack was not the first, and was preceded by an assault last year on another Bitcoin exchange firm, Mt Gox, which was also obliged to temporarily suspend operations
Mt.Gox suspended operations for a week after an attacker compromised a user account and sold the Bitcoins at a price that seriously deflated the market.  The exchange managed to survive the raid and continues to do business. In another hack, a similar Bitcoin company was relieved of $228,000 worth of Bitcoins in a server hack.

The irreversible manner in which Bitcoin is structured, and the anonymity of holders makes it difficult to trace stolen Bitcoins, the publication reveals.
Bitcoin developers are believed to be studying security innovations to protect the virtual currency.