Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Bithumb, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange, loses $30 million to hackers

Bithumb, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange, loses $30 million to hackers

The South Korean exchange Bithumb confirmed on June 20 that 35 billion Korean won (approximately $31.5 million) in coins was stolen.

"All assets of our customers are securely saved in Bithumb's cold wallet; hence all assets are completely safe and secured", the platform said in a statement posted to its website on Wednesday.

In its announcement, Bithumb didn't disclose the exact details of the coins that were affected in the hack and in what quantities.

But it underscored the potential vulnerabilities for web-based trading and sent ripples across many cryptocurrency networks.

"Sorry we can't pay those back taxes, we just got hacked and surprisingly for the exact amount that we owed you, sorry fam". "Relying less on the security of the individual wallets and more on the underlying systems of the exchanges should lead to an improvement in overall security", Chappell said.

The Bithumb theft highlights the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets. As reported by Bitcoin Magazine earlier this month, South Korean Conrail lost around $40 million to hackers where lesser known tokens such as PundiX were stolen. At time of writing, cryptocurrency news service Coindesk recorded a almost 2 percent drop in Bitcoin value from Tuesday. For safety reasons, cryptocurrency exchanges store between 70 to 80 percent of their cyber cash holdings in "cold wallets" that are not connected to the Internet, but they require more time to make transactions. They immediately started transferring all the digital assets held by them to their cold wallets as a prevention to further damages.

The hack brings to light a recent spike in such attacks against Asian exchanges, and counts as the second incident against a South Korean crypto exchange within a month - after about $37.2 million worth of cryptos was stolen from Coinrail merely two weeks ago. Still, the frequency of cryptocurrency exchange hacks is something that will leave many traders anxious. There seemed to be signs of an emerging bull run as Bitcoin stayed above the $6,700 mark.

Bithumb has annual profits of around $300 million, so the Bithumb hack shouldn't threaten their long-term survival. Bitcoin declined to $6,550 when the news broke around 1.15 am UTC, but then saw a slight rally to $6,600.

Like this: