Economy

Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinrail Suffers $40 Million Theft

Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinrail Suffers $40 Million Theft

Bitcoin has once again demonstrated its volatility, dropping in value by 10 percent following news of an attack and theft from the South Korean exchange Coinrail.

A statement on the exchange's site sought to reassure users - saying that the remainder of the coins were "safely stored" - but Reuters reports that the value of Bitcoin tumbled to two-month lows in the hack's aftermath.

About $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen by hackers in the first half of this year, according to a recent report from cybersecurity company Carbon Black. In January 2018 some $500-worth of cryptocurrency was stolen as a result of a hack on Japan-based exchange Coincheck, which led to a severe drop in market prices for various digital currencies and toughening of the country's policies towards cryptocurrency exchanges.

Bitcoin was trading at $6,780, down from more than $7,500 before the weekend, according to Coindesk, which monitors prices. The exchange, which currently trades more than 50 different cryptocurrencies and handles just under $2.7 million in daily volume, says it has managed to freeze all the exposed Pundi X (NPXS), NPER (NPER) and Artex (ATX) coins, and that other cryptocurrencies are now being kept in a cold wallet. Coinrail only said that it was cooperating with investigators and other exchanges to try and track down the perpetrators and recover the assets.

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Coins other than Pundi X seem to have been transferred to a wallet at another decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, Etherdelta.

The Korean National Police Agency didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. Popular cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex - infamous for its $68 million hack in 2016 - suffered a domain denial of service (DDoS) attack last week.

The price plunges were also linked to a report on Friday from the Wall Street Journal (paywall) that USA regulators are investigating four major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, for price manipulation.


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