South Korean Exchange Bithumb Hacked For Over $30M
Bithumb, one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea says it was hacked and digital assets worth about $30 million stolen.
The latest such attack comes barely a month after CoinRail, another of the Korea-based exchanges was hacked and assets worth about $40 million stolen.
Bithumb made the announcement about the hack via Twitter, acknowledging the loss of user funds. It also offered to refund all the affected holders.
However, the site hasn’t made any remarks regarding how the hack happened. It hasn’t also indicated which cryptocurrencies were stolen or the number of users affected.
The statement nevertheless promised more information will be availed with time.
The exchange has given all users a notice with regard to the suspension of all activities involving deposits and withdrawals.
It has also assured its clients that the rest of the assets are being transferred to a cold wallet. The exchange made the announcement on June 19, 2018, at 6 PM Korean Standard Time.
Here is the official tweet, though it has since been deleted:
A few minutes later, the exchange posted the message notifying users of an impending suspension to all services.
But question marks abound, as they always do in such situations. Just days ago, Bithumb had issued a notice to its customers saying that they’d be transferring all assets to a cold wallet.
This was to revamp their systems and make database upgrades. The tweet posted on June 15 read:
“[Notice for the restart of service] We are transferring all of the assets to the cold wallet to build up the security system and upgrade DB. Starting from 15:00 pm (KST), we will restart our services and notice again as soon as possible. Appreciate for your support.”
The crypto community has had various reactions to the latest setback. While all agree that it’s unfortunate and bad for crypto, some have openly questioned the veracity of the report.
Those in doubt believe this is a ploy to create fear and uncertainty (something called FUD) and affect prices.
One user, MG posited:
“How do we know you guys didn’t just hack yourselves and milk users for $30mil…just playing devil’s advocate”
The trend was more or so the same as users on Twitter questioned the whole event.
However, some of the major opinion makers within the industry reacted more cautiously and offered reminders to crypto investors about safe storage of their digital assets.
One of the first to tweet about the hack is Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee. He said: It’s not the first time a cryptocurrency exchange is being hacked and users losing assets worth millions of dollars.
In January, Japanese site CoinCheck was hacked and investors lost about $500 million worth of assets.
Many of the trading and exchange sites have been criticized for paying less attention to security measures, a vulnerability that exposes them to hacking.
The investor community has been urged before to ensure that they don’t leave their hard-earned money on an exchange. It’s always safer to have just what you need to trade on an exchange.
Others within the space are seeing a shift towards a better ecosystem in the crypto industry. Many times victims of such hacks have had to wait with an uncertainty of ever getting their funds back.
But the quick move by Bithumb to offer refunds to users has been seen as a positive move.
Charlie Shrem, one of the Bitcoin pioneers simply tweeted:
“Bithumb hacked for $30M but covering all losses. Our industry is getting better and stronger”
This latest hack of a cryptocurrency exchange comes at a time when the market was showing signs of an upside.The earlier hack had coincided with other related negative news about price manipulation and regulations.
At that time, the market reacted with Bitcoin leading the rest of cryptocurrency to further price decline.
We will wait to see what the market makes of this obviously unfortunate event.