Korean crypto exchange Bithumb says it lost over $30M following a hack

Inside a cryptocurrency mine in South Korea

Inside a cryptocurrency mine in South Korea

There are some reports that say they lost upwards of 35 billion won (or close to 32 million USD) after the hacking attack dust settled which does highlight the vulnerabilities of leaving your coins and tokens on exchanges when not actively trading them.

Last week, Bithumb tweeted that a database and security upgrade was being carried out, and that part of the process involved transferring assets to a cold wallet (one not directly connected to the internet).

It claimed that all lost funds will be covered by Bithumb from its own reserve and that remaining assets were removed to a secure cold wallet.

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. As a result, all deposits and payments have been temporarily suspended.

It announced a server check that was expected to "build up the security system", but the maintenance time scheduled from 5:20 a.m. KST to 9:00 a.m. KST took more time than it should have.

It added the company will fully compensate customers.

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Some users reported on cryptocurrency-focused forums that they were missing Ripple (RPX) from their accounts, but this information was never confirmed by the exchange.

The platform is the sixth-largest in the world, with an average daily trading volume of nearly $400 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

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

News of the theft at the exchange hit the prices of cryptocurrencies. A short time ago, prices for bitcoin had fallen by 2% to around $US6,600.

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

These massive crypto-hacks don't just damage the value of Bitcoin - and other cryptocurrencies whose value depends on Bitcoin's stability - but also threaten the future of Bitcoin as an entirely decentralised currency.

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