Thursday, September 19, 2019
Massive Bitcoin Exchange Hack Creates Anxiety among Investors
Bithumb Suspects Insiders Are Responsible
Massive Bitcoin Exchange Hack Creates Anxiety among Investors
  • By Yoon Young-sil
  • April 1, 2019, 10:41
Share articles

Bithumb announced that about 14 billion won (US$12.31 million) worth of cryptocurrencies were aberrantly withdrawn from it at 10 p.m. on March 29.

As a hack took place even in Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, investors are becoming anxious. A spokesperson of Bithumb said, “It is not a hack carried out by an outsider but by an insider.” 

About 14 billion won (US$12.31 million) worth of cryptocurrencies were aberrantly withdrawn from Bithumb at 10 p.m. on March 29, according to an industry source on March 31. It was first reported by Decenter, South Korea’s first online blockchain media outlet established by the Seoul Economic Daily.

After Bithumb found out that some of its cryptocurrencies were leaked to the outside, it suspended its deposit and withdrawal services at 11 p.m. on the same day. An official from Bithumb said, “There are no signs of an outsider having hacked so far according to the inspection. We think that insiders are responsible for the latest incident, not hacking attacks from the outside. We believe that some of employees who are not happy with the company’s recent measures to reduce costs and accept requests for voluntary retirement or are seeking to cash in on in the process of the retirement committed the acts.”


A spokesperson of Bithumb said that cryptocurrencies abnormally withdrawn was the company’s assets, not customers. The police and related authorities inspected Bithumb’s deposit and withdrawal system and launched an investigation into the size of the stolen money and the cause of the incident. The amount of the stolen cryptocurrencies is said to be 14 billion won (US$12.31 million). However, some say that Bithumb has lost 15 billion won (US$13.19 million) of cryptocurrencie from the latest hack.

There have been a series of incidents in cryptocurrency exchanges, giving more weight to fears among investors. CoinBene, a cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore, is facing allegations about being hacked on March 26. The suspicious hacking circumstances were discovered that 38 types of coins were improperly deposited and withdrawn. In addition, Coinrail lost cryptocurrencies totaling as much as 40 billion won (US$35.18 million) in the hacking attack last year, while Bithumb was hacked and suffered a cryptocurrency loss of 35 billion won (US$30.78 million).

In this regard, the South Korean government is developing a cryptocurrency address ID system which assigns addresses to all cryptocurrencies being traded in cryptocurrency exchanges. This is to come up with measures to give wallet addresses to all cryptocurrencies and enable prosecutors to immediately track suspicious transactions in order to eradicate cryptocurrency-related crimes, such as hacking and fraud.