Bithumb becomes the second victim to crypto theft in Korea this month

2018.06.21 14:06:43 | 2018.06.21 14:09:45

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In another blow to the crypto community, Bithumb, one of the largest virtual coin exchanges in Korea, confirmed on Wednesday hacking and theft of virtual assets worth 35 billion won ($31.5 million) following similar loss in another exchange earlier in the month.

Bithumb, the world’s seventh largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of 24-hour trade volume, announced in a notice that its hot wallet was hacked between the night of June 19 and the morning hours of June 20.

Ripple and other currencies were stolen, the exchange said, advising customers to stop depositing funds for the time being. Deposits and withdrawal services will be halted until the system is fully secured, it said.

The announcement comes just nine days after a smaller South Korean exchange Coinrail said it was robbed of close to 40 billion won worth of digital assets.

Although the damage may not be severe for the size of Bithumb, the latest breach at the exchange vying with market champion Upbit for the top spot in Korea is a worrying incident as Bithumb had boasted of its security practices against cyber threats.

Over the past year, South Korea lost nearly 100 billion won to cyberthieves. In April of last year, Youbit, formerly called Yapizon, lost bitcoins worth 5.5 billion won and filed for bankruptcy after it was hacked for the second time in less than eight months.

Bithumb said that digital assets of its customers remained intact from the hacking, stressing there will be no damage on them and all losses will be covered by its own account.

By Oh Chan-jong and Minu Kim

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