Bitcoin price plunges after cryptocurrency exchange is hacked

Bitcoin price plunges after cryptocurrency exchange is hacked

The hack understandably sent shivers running through owners of cryptocurrencies, as their coins are only as safe as the security a crypto exchange has in place.

The price of Bitcoin plunged 6.81 percent to trade at 7.5 million won ($6,987), the lowest since April 12, according to Bithumb, one of Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

On Monday morning, cryptocurrency prices slumped following the news reports that Coinrail lost more than 40 billion in altcoins.

Korea Internet & Security Agency, now carrying out the investigation with police, said only four of the country's largest exchanges are subject to the Information Security Management System certification (ISMS) requirement. The crash widens bitcoin's year-to-date losses to as much as 50%, wiping about $120 billion off its market value this year.

Coinrail said it was co-operating with police and suspended trading.

Enthusiasm for virtual currencies has waned partly due to a string of cyber heists, including the almost $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc.in late January.


The slump may have been exacerbated by low market liquidity during the weekend, Innes added.

In a statement on its website on Monday, Coinrail said its system was hit by "cyber intrusion" on Sunday, causing a loss for about 30% of the coins traded on the exchange.

"The markets are so thinly traded, primarily by retail accounts, that these guys can get really scared out of positions", he said.

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

The Korean National Police Agency didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. South Korea's Omnitel Inc. and Vidente Co. retreated at least 3.9 percent, while Japan's Remixpoint Inc. slumped 4.9 percent.

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