Bitcoin price tumbles after cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail gets hacked

Bitcoin (BTC) Nosedives Amid South Korea Exchange Heist

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. Although the exact amount of damage caused by the theft is yet to be confirmed, South Korean news outlet Yonhap News has estimated it to be around 40 billion won ($37.2 million). South Korea has been the third largest market for Bitcoin trading in the world after Japan and the United States and has also suffered several major exchange hacks resulting in both fear driven activity on the trading side and calls for more stringent regulation from the government.

While the price of Bitcoin may have taken a nosedive, there's still likely to be a heavy appetite for it as some traders speculate on when the price might suddenly surge in order to make a quick buck. "(Coinrail) is a minor player in the market and I can see how such small exchanges with lower standards on security level can be exposed to more risks", Reuters quoted Kim Jin-Hwa, a representative at Korea Blockchain Industry Association, as saying.

The 2018 selloff in cryptocurrencies deepened, wiping out US$42 billion of market value over the weekend and extending this year's slump in bitcoin to more than 50 per cent. Exchanges in South Korea have a history of being hit by cyberattacks.

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. It was just one month ago that the currency had been touching $10,000.

"Coinrail, as of June this year, hasn't been certified with the ISMS, as it isn't mandatory (for the organisation to do so)", the local regulator said in a statement.

The Korean National Police Agency is investigating the case, an official said by phone.

"We began the investigation immediately after receiving reports from the company".

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