Cryptocurrency hackers steal one third of coins on South Korea exchange

Roman Schwartz
June 11, 2018

Even though Coinrail is one of the smaller exchanges, and there was no mention of the cryptocurrency in its statement, Bitcoin's price fell to a low of $6610 after the hack-the lowest it's been in several months.

While not as large as some other trading platforms, Coinrail still ranks amongst the world's top 90 digital currency exchanges.

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

The Bitcoin price has now dropped almost 60 per cent in 2018. That widens Bitcoin's losses for the year to 53 per cent.

"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. South Korea has been the third largest market for Bitcoin trading in the world after Japan and the U.S. 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. "It actually doesn't take a lot of money to move the market significantly". The venue added that 70 percent of the cryptocurrencies it holds are being kept safely in a cold wallet, which isn't connected to the Internet and is less vulnerable to theft.

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The price of Bitcoin plunged 6.81 percent to trade at 7.5 million won ($6,987), the lowest since April 12, according to Bithumb, one of Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

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.

The Korean National Police Agency is investigating the case, an official said by phone. The nation's cleanup of initial coin offerings and Bitcoin exchanges has nearly been completed, the newspaper said, citing Sun Hui, an official at the Shanghai branch of the central bank.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin was last trading at $6,790.88, down a sharp 10.8% from Friday, having fallen roughly 65% from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017. South Korea's Omnitel Inc. and Vidente Co. both retreated at least 3.9 percent, while Japan's Remixpoint Inc. slumped about 5 percent.

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