Top Korean crypto exchange Bithumb hacked, $31.5 million lost

Top Korean crypto exchange Bithumb hacked, $31.5 million lost

Top Korean crypto exchange Bithumb hacked, $31.5 million lost

Hackers have stolen cryptocurrencies worth $US30 million from South Korea's leading virtual currency exchange, Bithumb.

The hack is the second time Bithumb has been hacked in the space of a year, and the second Korean exchange to be hacked in just over a week. We also don't know the exact cause of the breach, but a local news outlet is reporting that investigators from South Korea's National Police Agency have begun a formal investigation into the case.

Earlier this month, the minor exchange Coinrail said it was hacked and lost digital money worth around 40 billion won.

Seoul-based Bithumb said that 35bn won (£24m; $31.6m) worth of cyber-cash had been "seized" overnight, adding that it would fully compensate affected customers.

The tweet also sought to assure users that their assets were still safe with Bithumb and that the amount stolen would be covered, meaning that anyone whose currency was stolen would be refunded by Bithumb. In April previous year, the company suffered a cyberattack that led to the leakage of sensitive personal data of 31,506 users and theft of 4,900 Bithumb accounts. The platform is the sixth-largest in the world, with an average daily trading volume of nearly $400 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

The Bithumb theft again highlighted the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets. Following the incident, the exchange has since moved swiftly to suspend all withdrawals and deposits on its platform, with all usual services expected to resume after the matter is solved. A short time ago, prices for bitcoin had fallen by 2% to around $US6,600.

In January, Quartz reported that Bithumb had already suspected North Korean hackers were planning to attack its funds.

Before the Bithumb hack, the market appeared to be recovering as it gained more than $12 billion in total market capitalization.

The virtual currency was priced at $6,442 dollars late afternoon in Seoul, down about 4.4 percent from 24 hours earlier, after the latest attack on Bithumb raised concerns over cryptocurrency security.

Thursday, the Bithumb team officially confirmed that it has lost $30 million in its hacking attack and its developers and security team have started the recovery process of customer assets.

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