Bitcoin price plunges after cryptocurrency exchange is hacked

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That widens Bitcoin's losses for the year to 53 per cent.

Cryptocurrencies plunged in Asia on Monday (Jun 11) after a hack on a South Korean exchange sparked fresh concerns about the safety of the digital units.

Coinrail have since confirmed that they have been victim of an attack, which has seen around a 30% loss of coins traded on the exchange, this comes in at an estimated value just shy of $40 Million. Coinrail only said that it was cooperating with investigators and other exchanges to try and track down the perpetrators and recover the money.

The exchange said that 70 percent of its coin and token reserves had been secured and two thirds of what had been stolen had since been frozen or recalled.

Although Coinrail didn't specify the value of the heist, a wallet address that has been linked to the alleged attacker appeared to have stolen more than $40 million worth of cryptocurrency, TechCrunch noted. In January 2018 some $500-worth of cryptocurrency was stolen as a result of a hack on Japan-based exchange Coincheck, which led to a severe drop in market prices for various digital currencies and toughening of the country's policies towards cryptocurrency exchanges. While the latest hacking target - a South Korean venue called Coinrail - is much smaller, the news triggered knee-jerk selling by investors, according to Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda Corp in Singapore.

Without disclosing the exact amounts stolen, Coinrail revealed some of the stolen ERC-20 tokens, namely NPXS tokens from Pundi X, a payment project; ATC from Aston X, a decentralized document project and; NPER tokens from the namesake decentralized IP project.

The price plunges were also linked to a report on Friday from the Wall Street Journal (paywall) that USA regulators are investigating four major crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, for price manipulation. The rest of the coins were then moved to a safe "cold valet", which is disconnected from the internet. More recently, in December past year, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit shut down and filed for bankruptcy after being hacked twice. The company wasn't immediately available for further comments.

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