A hacker has stolen $3,500 worth of Bitcoins from a United States bank, the Federal Reserve said.
Bitcoin was first created in 2009, and the currency has been trading on the exchange rate between $US1,200 and $US4,000 for years.
But this week, a person using the handle Satoshi Nakamoto stole $US3,000 worth of bitcoins from the Wells Fargo Bank in the city of Denver.
The Federal Reserve issued a statement on Friday, saying the man had obtained the coins using a method called “mining”.
“The suspect was a computer programmer who obtained Bitcoins using a technique known as ‘mining’ and that he made the bitcoins for himself using stolen data from the bank’s servers,” the statement said.
The hacker, who was identified by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a 29-year-old male from North Carolina, has not been charged with any crimes.
Bitcoin prices fell on Friday following the announcement.
The digital currency has risen sharply since the US central bank announced it would start regulating it in November.
The government is concerned about the risk that the cryptocurrency could be used for illicit activities and other financial crimes, such as money laundering.
Bitcoin, which has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional currencies, was launched as a way to pay for goods and services without using traditional banking.
The value of bitcoins fluctuates daily, and its price has been volatile since 2009.
The number of transactions in the cryptocurrency has risen from less than $US100 million in 2011 to more than $500 million in December.