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South Korean cryptocurrency exchange hacked, bitcoin prices drop

Pankaj Thuain
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Moneycontrol News

Prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies crashed on Monday after South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail was hacked over the weekend.

Coinrail confirmed the hack by posting a statement through their twitter handle.

According to a report by The Guardian, Bitcoin fell by $500 in an hour to $6,627 on the Luxembourg exchange Bitstamp. Apart from Bitcoin, almost every other major digital currency saw a fall in its prices.

The cryptocurrency market has always been a soft target for hackers for quite some time, and the latest hack only highlights the prevalent cracks in the security and regulations surrounding the market.

Coinrail said that its system was hit by "cyber intrusion" on Sunday, which caused a loss of around 30 percent of the coins traded on the exchange.

The exchange did not specify an estimated figure for the loss. Yonhap News reported that around 40 billion won worth of virtual coins were stolen.

"70 percent of total coin and token reserves have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet [not connected to the internet]. Two-thirds of stolen cryptocurrencies were withdrawn or frozen in partnership with related exchanges and coin companies. For the rest, we are looking into it with an investigative agency, related exchanges and coin developers," Coinrail said in its statement.

According to the Korea Herald, police have started investigating the case. "We secured the access history of Coinrail servers and we are in the process of analysing them," a police spokesperson said.