Business

Steve Kaaru

Bithumb halts crypto deposits to allow external audit after $13M hack

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has announced that it has halted crypto deposits for its users. The exchange announced via a blog post that this was to give ample time to external auditors to conclude their investigation.

This follows a reported $13 million hack in which the criminals made away with EOS tokens. The hack was made public on Twitter by one crypto investor and trader. Bithumb came forward to deny the allegations, saying that even in the event of a hack, it would reimburse all its users. However, hours later, the exchange took down the reimbursement tweets, further adding to the confusion.

Part of the statement read:

“We would like to ask you to stop making deposits of cryptocurrency in order to check our member’s assets through external organization and to cooperate with the investigating agency in connect with an accident that is supposed to be an internal embezzlement that occurred on March 29th.”

The tokens in question were supposedly held in a cold wallet. They were 3 million EOS tokens, worth $13 million at current prices and 20 million XRP tokens, worth $6.5 million. And while you’d think a cold wallet is the safest that your crypto tokens can be, it turns out they are not immune from inside jobs. 

According to Bithumb, the funds were not stolen, but rather withdrawn. This suggests that the exchange believes that this was an inside job. Bithumb is currently working with government investigators to get to the bottom of the incident.

The temporary suspension will only apply to cryptos that are suspected to have been involved in the incident. Newly listed cryptos will not be affected, it explained saying:

“We will announce it immediately the results of the financial investigation come out, and inform you that there is no problem with the customer’s assets. Bithumb promises once again that we will disclose the findings and the progress of the investigation in a transparent manner.”

However, in some positive news, ChangeNOW has successfully recovered $500,000 of the stolen tokens, The relatively smaller exchange announced that it had been able to crack down on some of the criminals who tried to cash out on its platform. ChangeNOW also promised to work with Bithumb and South Korean police in their investigations.

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