South Korean-based digital currency exchange Bithumb said on Wednesday it was suspending all transactions – withdrawals and deposits – after it became the latest victim of a hacking attack, losing an estimated $31 million (35 billion won).
The exchange made the announcement after first noticing the missing digital assets between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
“[Notice for the temporary suspension of the deposits] Due to the increasing safety issues, we are changing our wallet system. Please do not deposit until we notify. *All deposits are not deposited into your wallet until all changes are completed.”
Bithumb has not yet disclosed which cryptocurrency the hackers made off with but assured its clients they would be repaid with its own reserves.
To prevent further attacks and losses, Bithumb said it had moved its other assets to a cold wallet – an offline ecosystem that cannot be accessed through the internet. At the same time, the platform urged its customers to "immediately discontinue depositing cryptocurrencies until further notice” because of the move.
As we previously reported, the latest attack against Bithumb could not have come at a worse time given that South Korean regulators and the cryptocurrency exchange remain with horns locked despite signs that the tension is beginning to ease.
South Korea only recently abandoned plans to impose a ban on digital currency trading after clearing Bithumb and competitor Upbit of any wrongdoing following a massive probe into their operations.
The latest hacking incident also came less than two weeks after South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail lost an estimated 70% of its digital assets, or around $40 million, which sent
Bitcoin prices on a downward spiral.
The attack on Coinrail made a massive impact on the industry, with panicked investors abandoning their cryptocurrency holdings. Just when Bitcoin’s price appeared to be trending up, prices quickly fell from over $7,600 to around $6,700 after news of the attack emerged.
On the day of the attack, Bitcoin lost a staggering $8.23 billion from its market value, underscoring the volatile nature of cryptocurrency trading.