Hackers steal $30 million from top Seoul bitcoin exchange

Hackers hit South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, bitcoin falls

Bithumb holds cryptocurrencies worth 6.36 trillion won, including coins worth 416 billion won of its own, as of the end of 2017, it said in an audit report released in April.

Although Bithumb might not be keen to advertise the loss, deleting its initial tweet announcing the hack and promise of compensation.

The price of Bitcoin is on the slide today after the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said $31.5 million worth of virtual coins were stolen by hackers. The exchange said it will compensate victims, adding that it has halted cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals and moved investor assets to a so-called cold wallet that's disconnected from the Internet and less vulnerable to hacking.

'Since coins in the cold wallets are not at all wired to the internet, it would have been impossible for hackers to steal those in cold wallets unless they physically broke in, ' said In, a blockchain expert at the research centre.

Bithumb did not immediately respond to Reuters" request for comments, and its statement did not say whether the stolen coins were stored in its "hot wallets'.

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Coinrail may be one of Korea's smaller exchanges, but Bithumb is far larger.

"No security measures or regulations can 100 percent guarantee safety of virtual coins".

Bithumb did not reveal any details about this latest hack, such as what cryptocurrency the hackers stole, how they got into their IT system, or how they exfiltrated funds.

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

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