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Cryptocurrencies tumble after S. Korea hack

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

plunged in today after a on a South Korean exchange sparked fresh concerns about the safety of the digital units.

The attack on Coinrail comes months after Japanese firm said it had lost more than USD 500 million in a January

Coinrail did not specify the value of the currency that was taken in the attack at the weekend but said it was working with authorities and other coin developers to track down the culprits.

The firm, which trades more than 50 cryptocurrencies, added that it had frozen all exposed coins -- Fundus X, Aston, and Enper -- and other units had been taken offline in a "cold wallet".

The sent tumbling, with bitcoin losing about 13 percent, ethereum down 12 percent and ripple almost 20 percent lower as traders fret over the safety of their investments.

"This is 'If it can happen to A, it can happen to B and it can happen to C,' then people panic because someone is selling," said Stephen Innes, of trade at

"The markets are so thinly traded, primarily by retail accounts, that these guys can get really scared out of positions," he said. "It actually doesn't take a lot of to move the market significantly."

have plunged since the end of 2017, when bitcoin hit a record high near USD 20,000, having surged from less than USD1,000 just 11 months earlier. The unit is now worth around USD 6,780.

is one of the biggest markets for trading in digital currencies but the boom in their popularity has forced the government to tighten regulations, following similar moves in other countries.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 11:10 IST