Hackers hit South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, bitcoin falls

Hackers hit South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, bitcoin falls

Bithumb holds cryptocurrencies worth 6.36 trillion won, including coins worth 416 billion won of its own, as of the end of 2017, it said in an audit report released in April.

About 35 billion won (roughly $31.6 million) worth of virtual currency was stolen in a hack on South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Days prior to the hack, Bithumb said on Twitter that it was "transferring all of asset to the cold wallet to build up the security system and upgrade" its database. The exchange lost over $40 million in user funds and due to the small size of its operations, the company had to endure a restructuring to compensate users.

In Ho, a professor at Korea University's Blockchain Research Institute, said the stolen coins were most likely to be from the more insecure 'hot wallets'. Last week Coinrail lost about 30 percent of its coins to hackers, which then saw the value of Bitcoin tumble to a two-month low.

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Bithumb's statement did not say whether the stolen coins were stored in its "hot wallets".

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin was down 1.8 percent at $6,612.92 by 0351 GMT, extending losses as a series of intrusions on cryptocurrency exchanges in recent weeks sparked concerns over security.

South Korea's cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, was attacked by hackers, making it the second South Korean cryptocurrency exchange to be ransacked. But the government said it does not intend to go as far as shutting down domestic exchanges.

According to Coinmarketcap.com, Bithumb is the sixth busiest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and handles more than 37 types of virtual currencies.

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