Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Bitcoin tumbles as hackers hit South Korean exchange Coinrail

Bitcoin tumbles as hackers hit South Korean exchange Coinrail

A university student, a member of a club studying cryptocurrencies, attends a meeting at a university in Seoul on Dec 20, 2017.

Bitcoin's price has fallen to $6,627 (on the Bitstamp exchange) on the news of a hack of a major cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea - Coinrail.

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.

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.

In 2014, Tokyo-based Mt Gox, which once handled 80% of the world's bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy after losing bitcoins worth around half a billion dollars.


The latest attack highlights the lack of security and weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets.

A cryptocurrency exchange hack in South Korea jolted holders of digital assets, fueling a $46 billion selloff and extending this year's Bitcoin slump to more than 50 percent. First and foremost is the news that another South Korean exchange has been hacked.

Coinrail said "70% of total coin and token reserves have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet [not connected to the internet]".

"Coinrail, as of June this year, hasn't been certified with the ISMS, as it isn't mandatory (for the organisation to do so)", the local regulator said in a statement. South Korea has been the third largest market for Bitcoin trading in the world after Japan and the USA and has also suffered several major exchange hacks resulting in both fear driven activity on the trading side and calls for more stringent regulation from the government. "The company wasn't immediately available for further comments".

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