Bitcoin tumbles as hackers hit S.Korean exchange

A university student a member of a club studying cryptocurrencies attends a meeting at a university in Seoul on Dec 20 2017

A university student a member of a club studying cryptocurrencies attends a meeting at a university in Seoul on Dec 20 2017

In a statement Monday, the exchange said that it had a suffered a security breach in which hackers stole about 30% of its virtual currencies.

Although reports have suggested that bitcoin might be valued at massive figures in the coming years, at present, things do not look too good for the famous cryptocurrency. The venues have come under growing scrutiny in South Korea, the US and other large economies in recent months amid a range of issues including thefts, market manipulation and money laundering.

A tweet from Coinrail confirming the cyber-attack sent the price of bitcoin tumbling 10% on Sunday to two-month lows.

The Bitcoin price has now dropped almost 60 per cent in 2018. NY time on Friday and was trading at US$6,782.42 as of 10:30 a.m.in London on Monday, bringing its decline since December 29 to 53 per cent. While the latest hacking target - a South Korean venue called Coinrail - is much smaller, the news triggered knee-jerk selling, according to Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda Corp.in Singapore.

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In South Korea, 14 major local cryptocurrency exchanges adopted measures aimed at better protecting users in January this year, including restrictions on creating more than one account.

"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. "Coinrail said the balance 70 percent of virtual coins are now secure in its cold wallet, which operates on platforms not directly connected to the internet".

The largest cryptocurrency declined to $6,749 as of 2 p.m.in NY, the biggest drop since March 14, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from Bitstamp pricing. "Also, please understand that all related matters are hard to share all progress to exclude all possibilities that may interfere with the investigation due to an investigation by police agencies".

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