BITCOIN VALUE HAS TUMBLED after South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail got hacked.
According to Coinrail, a "cyber intrusion" on Sunday resulted in Bitcoins being nicked by cyber thieves, but the company wouldn't confirm how much had been pilfered. However, South Korean news outlet Yonhap News - via The Guardian - reported that some 40 billion won worth of digital coins were grabbed by the hackers; that's some £27.8m in real-world money.
Coinrail noted that two-thirds of the stolen Bitcoins were withdrawn or frozen through partnerships with related cryptocurrency exchanges and coin companies.
"For the rest, we are looking into it with an investigative agency, related exchanges and coin developers," the company said.
It noted that all assets of Coinrail that have not been leaked have been shifted into a cold wallet, which are on devices not accessible through the internet.
However, the fallout of the hack means Bitcoin took a major tumble, dropping 5.1 per cent, which might not seem like much but is the biggest drop since 23 May, according to Bloomberg. Again that date might not seem very long ago, but in the wildly fluctuating world of cryptocurrency values, it's significant.
While Coinrail is by no means the largest cryptocurrency exchange, the increasing amount of cyberattacks made against such exchanges and companies providing cryptocurrency wallets is eroding the value of Bitcoin.
This is likely down to people simply not having faith that their dabbling in cryptocurrencies is a safe bet given any money they make could suddenly get swiped by enterprising or opportunistic cybercriminals.
While the price of Bitcoin may have taken a nosedive, there's still likely to be a heavy appetite for it as some traders speculate on when the price might suddenly surge in order to make a quick buck. But for the time being, investing in Bitcoins seems like something worth being very cautious with. µ
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