Korean crypto exchange admits close to one-third of its bitcoins have been stolen
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said Monday hackers have stolen about one-third of the coins traded on its market, an announcement that sent bitcoin prices tumbling to a two-month low.
Coinrail said hackers stole cryptocurrencies over the weekend including Pundi X, Aston and NPER. It did not give a value but Yonhap News agency cited unnamed industry sources saying coins worth about 40 billion won ($37 million) were lost.
If true, that would make it the biggest cryptocurrency theft reported to date in South Korea.
Bitcoin was trading at $6,780 on Monday, down from more than $7,500 before the weekend, according to Coindesk, which monitors prices.
Coinrail said it was cooperating with police and suspended trading. News reports said Coinrail, launched in September, was the seventh-largest exchange in South Korea by trading volume.
South Korea has seen a craze over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, prompting authorities to try to rein in speculative investment this year by tightening regulations. Cryptocurrencies still are popular, especially with young investors.—YOUKYUNG LEE, AP