Business 29 June 2018Gerald Fenech
South Korea’s Bithumb reduces crypto hack losses to $17M
As the negative news from the cryptocurrency markets turned into a flood, there was some positive information gleaned from the recent Bithumb hack that left some crumbs of comfort. The South Korean crypto exchange revealed it managed to reduce its losses from the recent hack, although it has taken a huge hit in volume that continues to imperil its long term operational capability.
Bithumb is considered one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea and also in the world in terms of trading volume. On June 20, the exchange succumbed to a hack, which saw some KRW35 billion (US$31 million) worth of cryptocurrencies stolen. At first, the hack was thought to be linked to the recent slump in the BTC price but further analysis showed this not to be the case.
On Thursday, the exchange published a progress report, in which it claimed to have reduced the losses to around KRW19 billion (US$17 million) after it retrieved some of the lost funds from other exchanges. Bithumb said it also put in place measures to prevent further losses from the attack.
“Immediately after the incident, to prevent further damage, we have guided the withdrawal of the password,” according to the exchange. “We will suspend the deposit service until the stability of the deposit is secured through the replacement of the system, so please stop the deposit immediately to prevent the leakage of the password.”
The update also revealed which crypto assets had been stolen through the hack. It was no surprise that BTC amounted to the largest loss from the hack with 2,016 BTC stolen, an equivalent of $12 million as at press time. Other major cryptocurrencies which were hacked included 2,219 ETH, 692 BCH and 5.2 million XRP. These assets were worth around $950,000, $487,000 and $2.4 million respectively, according to the latest prices. Other currencies which were stolen come from rather obscure networks including large amounts of aelf, golem and kyber tokens.
The incident hasn’t concluded yet, according to the exchange. So far, Bithumb has not disclosed an expected timeline for the resumption of a full service.
We would like to inform our customers about our current status quo and compensation event. Please see the notice on our website.
— Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) June 28, 2018
Following the last week’s heist, 24-hour trading volume on Bithumb has dropped significantly—from $400 million at the time to $124 million currently, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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