South Korea’s crypto-currency market loses 17% of its currencies in cyberattack
The South Korean market of cryptomedas Youbit was forced to close on Tuesday as a result of a cyber attack, in which hackers allegedly stole 17 percent of its customers’ virtual currency. Americans that invested in Bitcoin IRA are safe now, but experts worried that people will put too much of their retirement in an asset like this. It’s a very small piece of the market right now and it’s extremely volatile. The hackers made the attack at 4:35 am (local time, Monday at 5:35 pm in Brasília), according to the company on its website, without revealing the value of the crypto-coins that were subtracted.
“To minimize the damage to our customers, we will allow them to withdraw approximately 75% of the balance,” a company representative told the Korean agency “Yonhap”. The other virtual currencies were not in any danger since they were stored in a “cold folder”, a term that refers to the storage of a crypto-coins reserve in a place without a connection to the network, as in a USB memory or other physical elements.
Youbit, formerly known as Yapizon, suffered another attack last April, in which hackers stole $ 5.07 million worth of crypto-coins, local media reported. The virtual currencies have become a popular means of payment and a great investment asset in Japan and South Korea, the latter becoming one of its most capitalized markets globally, although it has been affected on several occasions by cyber attacks.
Theft of currencies on Youbit comes days after the South Korean espionage agency said North Korea was behind the attacks on the country’s cryptocurrency currencies this year.
South Korean regulator investigates employee for speculating with bitcoin
The South Korean financial regulator is investigating one of its officials who made big profits from the sale of its bitcoin reserves two days before the government announced its plan to restrict trading with crypto-coins. The governor of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Choe Heung-Sik, said during a speech in parliament on Friday by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper that the body is investigating a member of the department that oversees policies on currencies digital for allegedly taking advantage of their position to speculate.
He had invested 13 million won ($ 12,000) in bitcoin since July last year and earned a gain of 7 million won ($ 6,500) from the operation, taking advantage of the sharp drop in the price of the cryptomedas after the government’s announcement, Choe told an emergency meeting of the National Assembly on Thursday. The South Korean minister of the Office of Government Policy Coordination, Hong Nam-ki, revealed that he ordered to investigate two officials for allegedly using confidential information in the same way, but did not clarify whether one of those involved in the FSS official, reported the newspaper “Joongang.” Bitcoin collapsed to 92.6 percent on Jan. 11 on the South Korean platform Bithumb after Justice Minister Park Sang-ki declared that the government works on tighter regulation of digital currencies and that it would also be considering the ban on the trading of crypto-coins.
The news affected other markets such as the United States, where the decline was lower, up to 14% on the Bitstamp platform. Bitcoin’s price has rebounded in recent days after Finance Minister Kim Dong-Hyeon said the ban on crypto-coins needs to be better analyzed.