South Korea's Bithumb loses $32 million in digital money heist, bitcoin falls

Inside a cryptocurrency mine in South Korea

Bithumb holds cryptocurrencies worth 6.36 trillion won, including coins worth 416 billion won of its own, as of the end of 2017, it said in an audit report released in April. Other tokens including Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin also retreated. The company said it would compensate customers for all lost assets.

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

Cryptocurrencies dropped after the second South Korean exchange in as many weeks said it was the victim of a theft, renewing fears about the security of digital-asset trading venues.

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Earlier this month, CCN reported that CoinRail, a top 10 cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, was hacked.

In the aftermath of the hack, the company immediately blocked user withdrawals to prevent the hacker from stealing more funds.

Fortunately, Bithumb has been able to limit its breach to $30 million because the vast majority of its holdings were stored in a cold wallet or an offline cryptocurrency wallet that is not hackable.

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Mr Penn said while roles would no longer be required, he was hopeful new positions might be created. The warning sent its shares tumbling to a more-than six-year low of A$2.71.

The Bithumb theft highlights the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets.

South Korea was at the center of last year's global crypto-mania, playing host to some of the world's most active exchanges.

While Bitcoin managed to recover from the intraday low of $6,557, but it is still vulnerable to further losses.

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David de Gea will be under the spotlight when Spain face Iran in their second World Cup Group B match on Wednesday (7pm BST). It was a shame to draw our opening match, conceding a goal right at the end because we had been playing well.

Bithumb's statement did not say whether the stolen coins were stored in its "hot wallets". But, the latest Bithumb hacking attack could be enough to reverse the trend.

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