Markets

Bitcoin plummets after South Korean exchange hack

Bitcoin plummets after South Korean exchange hack

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.

The markets are down this morning in the wake of an alleged $40 Million hack of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Coinrail.

Bitcoin was one of those affected, falling 10 percent to its lowest price in two months.

It notes that Bitcoin was trading at $6,790.88 on Bitstamp, a drop of 10.8 percent from Friday and a massive dip from its December 2017 peak, when it hit an all-time high of nearly $20,000.

"This is 'If it can happen to A, it can happen to B and it can happen to C, ' then people panic because someone is selling", said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. Coinrail only said that it was cooperating with investigators and other exchanges to try and track down the perpetrators and recover the money.




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. "It actually doesn't take a lot of money to move the market significantly".

Enthusiasm for virtual currencies has waned partly due to a string of cyber heists, including the almost $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc.in late January. "Coinrail said the balance 70 percent of virtual coins are now secure in its cold wallet, which operates on platforms not directly connected to the internet".

Coinrail said the "cyber intrusion" it experienced on Sunday saw the theft of around 30 percent of coins traded on the exchange.

The largest cryptocurrency declined 5% to $7 247 as of noon in NY, the biggest drop since May 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from Bitstamp pricing.


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