Cryptocurrencies tumble after South Korea hack

Bitocion price tumbles after cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail gets hacked

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail said it was hacked over the weekend, prompting an extended sell-off of bitcoin to a 2-month low amid growing concerns about security at small- to mid-sized virtual currency exchanges.

The world's most valuable digital currency is now trading at $7,229 per coin, widening losses for the year to 48%.

Although the exact amount of the coins stolen was not specified, local news outlet Yonhap has suggested that the total value of stolen cryptocurrencies is estimated at $37.1 million.

The news sent cryptocurrencies tumbling, with bitcoin losing about 13 per cent, ethereum down 12 per cent and ripple nearly 20 per cent lower as traders fret over the safety of their investments. Two-thirds of remaining 30 percent of token compromised have been frozen or recalled through consultation with developers like Pundi X and communication with exchanges like IDEX, the operator said.

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Bitcoin is now trading at $6,752 - down from an all-time peak of almost $20,000 in the week before Christmas.

Investors and regulators were jolted earlier this year after Japan's cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was hacked in a high-profile theft of over half a billion dollars worth of digital currency. First and foremost is the news that another South Korean exchange has been hacked.

In a statement, a representative from the Korea Blockchain Industry Association, a self-regulatory group, revealed the exchange wasn't a member of the working group. South Korea has been the third largest market for Bitcoin trading in the world after Japan and the United States and has also suffered several major exchange hacks resulting in both fear driven activity on the trading side and calls for more stringent regulation from the government.

The remaining coins within Coinrail seem to have been secured by Coinrail through the migration of assets onto cold storage wallets. Coinrail only said that it was cooperating with investigators and other exchanges to try and track down the perpetrators and recover the money. The company wasn't immediately available for further comments.

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