Bitcoin value dips in wake of South Korean exchange hack

Andrew Cummings
June 11, 2018

A statement on the exchange's site sought to reassure users - saying that the remainder of the coins were "safely stored" - but Reuters reports that the value of Bitcoin tumbled to two-month lows in the hack's aftermath.

Some observers pinned the latest retreat on the hacking of a South Korean exchange, while others pointed to lingering concern over a clampdown on trading platforms in China.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin was last trading at $6,763.96, down a sharp 11.2 per cent from Friday, having fallen roughly 65 per cent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017. That widens Bitcoin's losses for the year to 52 per cent.


Japan in February carried out raids on a number of exchanges following the Coinbase hack, which exceeded the US$480 million in virtually currency stolen in 2014 from another Japanese exchange, MtGox. While the latest hacking target - a South Korean venue called Coinrail - is much smaller, the news triggered knee-jerk selling by investors, according to Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda Corp.in Singapore.

"The markets are so thinly traded, primarily by retail accounts, that these guys can get really scared out of positions", he said. The rest of the coins were then moved to a safe "cold valet", which is disconnected from the internet.

Coinrail trades more than 50 cryptocurrencies and was among the world's Top 100 most active venues, with a 24-hour volume of about $2.65 million, according to data compiled by Coinmarketcap.com before news of the hack.


A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said Monday hackers have stolen about one-third of the coins traded on its market, an announcement that sent bitcoin prices tumbling to a two-month low.

The largest cryptocurrency declined to $6,749 as of 2 p.m.in NY, the biggest drop since March 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from Bitstamp pricing.

Coinrail did not specify the value of the currency that was taken in the attack at the weekend but said it was working with authorities and other coin developers to track down the culprits.


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER