Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Korea's major crypto exchange Bithumb hacked; coins worth $32 million stolen

Korea's major crypto exchange Bithumb hacked; coins worth $32 million stolen

Bithumb, an exchange based in South Korea, said in a notice on its website that all customer deposits and withdrawals have been suspended while it reviews the situation. The bad news is that the hack was successful and the hackers made away with about $31 million in undisclosed coins, however, the exact amount stolen has not been communicated.

We checked that some of [our] cryptocurrencies valued about $30,000,000 was stolen.

According to Korean resident officials from the Sentinel Protocol, a project specializing in hacking, scam, and fraud detection, the hot wallet was hacked on the night of June 19 and some of the stolen coins include Ripple. For security, Bithumb has moved its assets to cold storage.

It announced a server check that was expected to "build up the security system", but the maintenance time scheduled from 5:20 a.m. KST to 9:00 a.m. KST took more time than it should have.

It added that the company would fully compensate customers.

According to CoinMarketCap, Bithumb's 24-hour trade volume at press time is over $374 million, the world's sixth largest.

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North Korean hackers have been pegged in the past for spear-phishing attacks against cryptocurrency exchanges and illegal cryptomining, as they look to generate much needed funds for the Kim Jong-un regime.

Still, the frequency of cryptocurrency exchange hacks is something that will leave many traders anxious. Right now we have already saw a small dip as the price currently sits around $6,600 as the announcement about the Bithumb cryptocurrency hack was just made almost 30-40 minutes ago upon writing. Bitcoin fell around 2%.

Before the Bithumb hack, the market appeared to be recovering as it gained more than $12 billion in total market capitalization. A single Bitcoin is now valued at roughly $6,700, having rebounded slightly since the Coinrail Bitcoin heist lows. However, since the news of the hack emerged, Bitcoin dropped $200, eroding all the gains of the past few days.

However, this isn't the first time it has been a target for cyber-attackers.

These massive crypto-hacks don't just damage the value of Bitcoin - and other cryptocurrencies whose value depends on Bitcoin's stability - but also threaten the future of Bitcoin as an entirely decentralised currency. Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

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