Bitcoin price drops after hackers steal £24m from South Korean exchange Bithumb

Korea's major crypto exchange Bithumb hacked; coins worth $32 million stolen

Korea's major crypto exchange Bithumb hacked; coins worth $32 million stolen

Bithumb, ranked seventh in the world by traded value on Coinmarketcap.com , said on Wednesday that about 35 billion won ($32 million) worth of coins were stolen.

For now, Bithumb has paused all deposits and withdrawals and moved all remaining assets to a cold wallet - a type of crypto storage not connected to the internet - according to subsequent tweets.

The Bithumb theft again highlighted the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets.

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'.

Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at ESTsecurity, said digital coins would continue to be juicy targets for hackers around the world. As a result, all deposits and payments have been temporarily suspended.

The hack marks the second incident in less than two weeks in South Korea.

Over the past 14 months, the total amount of damages by hacking attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges stood at some 97.7 billion won, and few customers have received due compensation, according to the authorities.

It has fallen roughly 70 percent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017. Much like Coincheck did after suffering an attack at the start of the year, Bithumb has promised to compensate all losses.

Hyper-wired South Korea has emerged as a hotbed of trading in virtual units, at one point accounting for some 20 percent of global bitcoin transactions - about 10 times the country's share of the global economy.

As of press time, Bithumb still is seeing over $300 million in 24-hour trading volume on its platform, making it now the sixth largest exchange in the world, data from CoinMarketCap shows.

In its announcement, Bithumb didn't disclose the exact details of the coins that were affected in the hack and in what quantities.

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