Bitcoin tumbles most in two weeks amid South Korea hack

Eileen GuzmanJun 12, 2018

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Coinrail, has revealed that it was targeted by hackers on Sunday, leading to bitcoin's price tumbling down to a two-month low. Korea's Yonhap estimated that a total of 40 billion won ($37.2 million) of coins went missing.

South Korea is one of the biggest markets for trading in digital currencies but the boom in their popularity has forced the government to tighten regulations, following similar moves in other countries.

South Korean regulators have taken a tough stance in trying to tame the cryptocurrency market, which is one of the world's busiest as measured by trading volume. Most other major virtual currencies also retreated, sending the market value of digital assets tracked by Coinmarketcap.com to a almost two-month low of $298 billion. NY time on Friday and was trading at $6,781.19 as of 11:43 a.m.in Hong Kong on Monday, bringing its year-to-date loss to 53 percent.

Another popular cryptocurrency, ethereum, also fell, contributing to a loss of well over $40 billion in virtual currencies' overall value from Saturday to Monday, the Coinmarketcap.com website reports.

Global policy makers have warned investors to be cautious in trading the digital currency given the lack of broad regulatory oversight.

South Korea has emerged as a hotbed for trading in virtual currencies over the past year. The cryptocoin's value has reached a two-month low, losing $500 in just an hour, The Guardian reported.

The company said it asked for technical support from the state-run Korea Internet & Security Agency.

"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. "Also, please understand that all related matters are hard to share all progress to exclude all possibilities that may interfere with the investigation due to an investigation by police agencies".

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