Cryptocurrency hackers steal one third of coins on South Korea exchange

Antana  Flickr

Antana Flickr

Korea's Yonhap estimated that a total of 40 billion won ($37.2 million) of coins went missing.

Bitcoin was trading at $6,780, down from more than $7,500 before the weekend, according to Coindesk, which monitors prices.

Also on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that "several" US cryptocurrency exchanges have been asked to hand over data to an insider trading from the US Commidity Futures Trading Commission.

At press time, bitcoin is trading for roughly $6,700 - about $900 less than where it stood just 48 hours ago.

Another popular cryptocurrency, ethereum, also fell, contributing to a loss of well over $40 billion in virtual currencies' overall value from Saturday to Monday, the Coinmarketcap.com website reports.

TechCrunch reports that hackers made off with $19.5 million worth of NPXS tokens issued by payment project Pundi X's ICO.

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Cryptocurrencies plunged in Asia on Monday (Jun 11) after a hack on a South Korean exchange sparked fresh concerns about the safety of the digital units.

Korea remains a hugely influential large-volume crypto exchange market, but has experienced multiple hacking attempts in the past few years, with many Seoul law enforcement agents saying North Korea is to blame.

In South Korea, 14 major local cryptocurrency exchanges adopted measures aimed at better protecting users in January this year, including restrictions on creating more than one account.

It noted that all assets of Coinrail that have not been leaked have been shifted into a cold wallet, which are on devices not accessible through the internet.

Asia-based crypto commentator Martin Young, writing on news site newsbtc, argued that the Coinrail hack was not hugely significant globally, as the exchange is now ranked only 90th by volume.

Of the holdings stolen from Coinrail, the exchange says two-thirds are covered by freezing or recalling them - and that the remaining third is being investigated by police and industry experts. "The company wasn't immediately available for further comments".

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