UPbit Raid Overnight Spooked Crypto Markets; Bitcoin Down Almost 9% Over Last 24 Hours

South Korea’s largest exchange was raided Thursday, causing panic among crypto traders.

South Korean prosecutors reportedly began raiding Thursday UPbit, the country's biggest cryptocurrency exchange.

Suspicion of fraud

News surfaced about the raid Thursday night and Friday morning after at least one news outlet – Yonhap news agency – reported it.

While details are sketchy, one theory is that the company was transferring customer funds from their cryptocurrency exchange accounts to a representative or executive account. 

The raid entailed prosecutors securing hard disks and accounting books. A statement prosecutors released says analyzing the data could “take days.”

UPbit responds

To calm anxious investors, UPbit has reportedly sent a note to its clients that it is cooperating with the prosecutors. Furthermore, it’s trying to guarantee its clients that their assets are secure.

Bitcoin, other cryptos fall on news?

The move may have spooked crypto traders. Bitcoin’s price has sank almost 9% over the last 24 hours. At the time of writing, the price was $8,538.

Bitcoin’s price had been holding steady above $9,200 on Thursday before this news began to go viral.

Social media lit up with speculation on the news. Perhaps the following tweet sums up the situation best.

https://twitter.com/iamjosephyoung/status/994859238580281344

We’ll keep you posted about any new developments.