A well planned cyber heist has seen South Korea’s Coinrail lose billions of dollars off the value of bitcoin and other digital currencies.
This heist which was carried out by a little-known virtual currency exchange, sent the price of bitcoin dropping more than 7%.
In a statement released on Monday, Coinrail said 30% of its virtual currencies was stolen by hackers. The exchange also said it has temporarily suspended trading in digital currencies to allow investigators to try tracking down the missing funds.
The hack on Coinrail, which is a little-known exchange, pose a serious threat to bigger and much known exchanges in South Korea and market’s, which has emerged as a hotbed for trading in virtual currencies over the last year.
Meanwhile, inspite efforts from investigators doing all they can to trace the lost digital currency, the news of the heist has sent shock waves through the virtual currency markets.
Nearly $30 billion in cryptocurrency wealth was wiped in about seven hours of trading, according to data provider Coinmarketcap.com.
“Investors have been increasingly worried about cybersecurity issues,” said Adrian Lai, founding partner at Hong Kong-based investment firm Orichal Partners.
“At this stage, obviously, the standard is not high enough,” He added.
However, Coinrail isn’t the only virtual currency exchange to fall victim to a cyberheist in recent times, it will be recalled that in January, in what could be described as the biggest of theft, Japan’s Coincheck reported that hackers stole $530 million worth of virtual currency from its users. This prompted Japanese authorities to step up scrutiny of exchanges.
More so, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, that US investigators were demanding several bitcoin exchanges hand over trading data as part of a probe into potential manipulation of futures markets.