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Hackers steal $30m from top Seoul bitcoin exchange

Hackers steal $30m from top Seoul bitcoin exchange

SEOUL: Hackers stole more than $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies from South Korea´s top bitcoin exchange, sending the unit´s price falling around the world on Wednesday.

The virtual currency was priced at $6,442 dollars late afternoon in Seoul, down about 4.4 percent from 24 hours earlier, after the latest attack on Bithumb raised concerns over cryptocurrency security.

Hyper-wired South Korea has emerged as a hotbed of trading in virtual units, at one point accounting for some 20 percent of global bitcoin transactions — about 10 times the country´s share of the global economy. Bithumb, which has more than 1 million customers, is the largest virtual currency exchange in the South.

“It has been confirmed that virtual currencies worth 35 billion won ($32 million) was stolen through late night yesterday (Tuesday) to early morning today,” the exchange said in a statement.

All deposits and withdrawals were suspended indefinitely to “ensure security”, it said, adding the losses would be covered from the firm´s own reserves.

It was the second major attack on South Korean virtual currency exchanges in just 10 days after hackers stole 40 billion won from Seoul-based Coinrail, which suspended withdrawal and deposits services since then.