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BuyUcoin, an Indian cryptocurrency startup hacked, 3L users’ data leaked and exposed on the Dark Web

In another instance of Data Breach, this time, BuyUcoin was hit by hackers, and data of nearly 3.25 lakh users have been leaked, according to an independent cybersecurity researcher Rakshekhar Rajaharia.

The sensitive data includes PAN numbers, bank details, and passport numbers. As per reports, the hack has been executed by a hacking group that calls themselves Shiny Hunters, and the breached data has been exposed on the Dark Web.

Incidentally, the same group was also behind the recent hacking and data leak at photo editing app Pixlr.

BuyUcoin is an India – based global cryptocurrency exchange and wallet, operating since 2016. 

The Delhi based on ramps crypto exchange is currently said to serve over 350,000 users and handles $300M+ in digital asset transactions. 

The platform allows for users to buy, sell, trade, and store multiple digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Stellar, among many others, using advanced Instant Banking services like UPI, Mobile Wallet, IMPS, NEFT/RTGS, debit and credit cards.

The data leaked from BuyUcoin, according to an independent cybersecurity researcher, a 6 GB file on MongoDB database contained three backup files that contained BuyUcoin data.

The data leaked includes names, emails, mobile numbers, encrypted passwords, user wallet details, order details, bank details, KYC details (PAN numbers and Passport numbers), and deposit history.

Why is this a serious breach?

The data hacked into and leaked is extremely serious. It involves highly sensitive and confidential data of the users of BuyUcoin, including financial and banking details and the KYC details. The same has been leaked on the Dark Web.

The group behind the hacking that calls itself ShinyHunters has been very active over the past summer and was seen publishing leaked data for free and have thus exposed millions of personal records from all over the world.

The independent researchers have also observed Shiny Hunters’ collaborators selling and leaking other dumps in the past few months.

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Shiny Hunters had also leaked nearly 1.9 million user records stolen from the free online photo editing app Pixlr.

BigBasket Data Hacked and Leaked

In November last year, quite recently, BigBasket data of over 20 million users had been hacked and put on sale on the dark Web for around $40,000.

JusPay Data Hacked and Leaked

JusPay, Bengaluru based digital payments gateway, had also been hacked and data leaked earlier this month. The said hacker compromised nearly 3.5 crore records with masked card data and card fingerprints.

It is said that the same hacker who had earlier also leaked BigBasket and JustPay data in India is behind the BuyUcoin data breach. The hacker had made a demand of $10,000 in Bitcoin for the BigBasket database and is also selling the three said companies’ database.

According to reports, several Indian companies have recently been hit by security breached wherein data has been hacked into and leaked. The other companies that have had a similar fate are e – market place ClickIndia, a fintech startup for small business owners ChqBook and wedding planning website WedMeGood, possibly by the same hacker mentioned above.

  • ClickIndia’s 80 lakh users’ data was compromised, including name, email, mobile, and other personal details leaked.
  • ChqBook had its 10 lakh users’ sensitive information, including name, email, mobile numbers, full addresses, and additional personal information hacked.
  • WedmeGood had 13 lakh users’ data leaked, including names, email, hashed passwords, and other sensitive personal information.

Bitcoin Market

Bitcoin has been very severely disapproved for its use in illegal transactions; some economists that include Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble at various times. 

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Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, but several regulatory authorities all over the world have issued an investor alert about bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency conceived in 2008 by an unknown entity/person or possibly a group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2009, the currency began to use when its implementation was released as open-source software.

Bitcoins are a decentralized digital currency, which means there is no Central bank or a single administrator and can be sent from user to user on the peer–to–peer bitcoin network without intermediaries’ need. 

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process called mining, akin to gaming points. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

In 2017, the University of Cambridge’s research estimated that as many as 2.9 – 5.8 million unique users are using a cryptocurrency wallet. Most of them are using Bitcoin.

The first major users of Bitcoin were in black markets, such as Silk Road. 

Silk Road exclusively accepted bitcoins as payments during its first 30 months of existence, beginning in February 2011, almost transacting as high as 9.9 million in bitcoins, worth $214 million.

2013 – 2016, The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) established regulatory guidelines for “decentralization virtual currencies,” classifying American bitcoin miners who sell their generated bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (MSBs) that are subject to registration or other legal obligations.

On 5 December 2013, the People’s Bank of China prohibited Chinese financial institutions from using bitcoins

2017 – 2109 – China banned trading in bitcoin, with first steps taken in September 2017 and a complete ban that started on 1 February 2018, resulting in a fall in bitcoin prices.

In February 2019, Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga Fintech Solutions failed with approximately $200 million missing.


Bitcoins saw a massive surge during the week of 11 March 2020 due to the Covid -19 pandemic; cryptocurrency exchange Kraken experienced an 83% increase in the number of account signups.

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Over the week, however, bitcoin’s priced collapsed due to buyers looking to capitalize on the low price. 

On 13 March 2020, bitcoin fell below $4000 during a broad Covid -19 pandemic related market selloff after trading above $10,000 in February 2020.

Recent Investments

  • In August 2020, MicroStrategy invested $250 million in bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset. 
  • In October 2020, SquareInc put about 1% of their total assets ($50 million) in bitcoin. 
  • In November 2020, PayPal announced that all users in the US could buy, hold, or sell bitcoin using PayPal.
  • In December 2020, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company announced it had purchased $100 million in bitcoin, or roughly 0.04% of its general investment account. 


On 30 November 2020, bitcoin hit a new all-time high of $19,860, topping the previous high from December 2017.

Alexander Vinnik, the founder of BTC-e, was convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison for money laundering in France while refusing to testify during his trial.


Bitcoins in India

As a medium of payment, Bitcoin has neither been authorized nor regulated by any central authority in India. Also, no set rules, regulations, or guidelines have been founded for settling disputes that could arise while dealing with bitcoins. Hence, bitcoin transactions come with their own set of risks. 

However, one can also not conclude that bitcoins are illegal as, so far, there has been no ban on bitcoins in India. 

In its ruling, the Supreme Court of India pronounced on 25 February 2019 required the Government to come up with Cryptocurrency regulation policies. 

The matter had been adjourned in the hearing on 29 March 2019 and has been rescheduled for hearing in the second week of July 2019. 


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