Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Bitcoin falls over 50%, cryptocurrencies lose $46 billion after South Korean hack

Bitcoin falls over 50%, cryptocurrencies lose $46 billion after South Korean hack

Although reports have suggested that bitcoin might be valued at massive figures in the coming years, at present, things do not look too good for the famous cryptocurrency. In addition to bitcoin, other major cryptocurrencies fell in price after the attack, including ethereum and ripple.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin was last trading at $6,790.88, down a sharp 10.8% from Friday, having fallen roughly 65% from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017.

The heist at Coinrail, a relatively small South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, sent the price of bitcoin tumbling to two-month lows as it once again highlighted the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets.

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The hack resulted in Coinrail losing around 30 per cent of the coins traded on the exchange and trading has now been suspended as the website is temporarily unavailable.

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

The slump may have been exacerbated by low market liquidity during the weekend, Innes added.

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"For now, the big money will most likely remain on the sidelines and wait for emerging markets to build momentum, as they did in late 2016", he concluded.

Coinrail called the breach a "cyber intrusion" and said 70 percent of total coin and token reserves "have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet", which is a file not connected to the Internet.

The exchange trades more than 50 different cryptocurrencies and was the 98th largest, with a 24-hour volume of about $2.65 million, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com. "For the rest, we are looking into it with an investigative agency, related exchanges and coin developers", it said.

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