Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Bitcoin price falls 10% following hack on exchange

Bitcoin price falls 10% following hack on exchange

While South Korea has become a hotbed of trading in cryptocurrencies, Coinrail is among South Korea's smaller trading platforms.

Coinrail's official statement on the matter didn't reveal how the hack took place but it confirmed that hackers stole more than $40 million worth of tokens and altcoins.

Bitcoin was trading at $6,780 on Monday, down from more than $7,500 before the weekend, according to Coindesk, which monitors prices. It said it had frozen the tokens that were stolen and halted all trading across the exchange to help with a police investigation.

Matthew Newton, analyst at eToro, said: "The hack in South Korea may have fired the starting gun on yesterday's price drop". As well as bitcoin, prices for other commonly traded digital currencies like ethereum also plunged. The crash widens bitcoin's year-to-date losses to as much as 50%, wiping about $120 billion off its market value this year. Another Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit lost bitcoins worth around 20 billion won previous year to cyberthieves twice, once in April and again in December.

"For now, the big money will most likely remain on the sidelines and wait for emerging markets to build momentum, as they did in late 2016", he concluded.

"All assets of CoinRail, which have not been leaked, are moved to a cold wallet and are kept safe, and transactions and withdrawals will resume after stabilizing the service".

The newspaper said the exchange's servers are now secure, but Coinrail had felt the need to request technical support from the state-run Korea Internet & Security Agency.

Bitcoin (BTC), the world's number-one cryptocurrency, lost over US$500 in just over an hour earlier today, dropping to a daily low of US$6,627, while most other digital currencies also recorded large percentage losses in the 8 to 11% range. 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.

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