South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb reported on Wednesday that hackers have stolen estimated 35 billion won ($31.5 million) worth of virtual currencies as of early morning Wednesday. The Bithumb website has informed its clients through an emergency notice to refrain from entering their log in details until further notice. Meanwhile the assets have been transferred to a cold wallet until the database and services are confirmed secure.
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While Bithumb has undertaken the responsibility of all assets, it has not yet decided on a time of re-opening its services.
“However, due to implementing enhancement as well as undergoing safety check on deposit/ withdrawal services, cryptocurrency deposits/ withdrawal and KRW withdrawal service will be halted for time being and until services are thoroughly reviewed.
Further accouchement will be made in due course,” the Bithumb website says. Following the news of the theft Bitcoin price fell by 1.48% from $6,718.90 to $6,561.79 within 24 hours.
As Korea is a hotspot for cryptocurrency related businesses, security issues such as cyber-attacks have also been common. Just weeks ago Coinrail, the seventh largest cryptocurrency exchange lost approximately $40 million in a cyber-attack. At the time, Bitcoin price had a sharp fall from $7400 to $6700 approximately, due to the theft.
It is not always the hackers that stole deposits as history has evidenced. In May 2018, BTC Global staff reported that the founder of the exchange had disappeared with $80 million of crypto assets they owned. In April 2018 it was reported that Modern Tech, a crypto start-up based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, had disappeared with US$660 million of investors’ money.