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Bithumb lose $13m in an ‘inside job’

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has announced they have been hacked and $13m in the cryptocurrency EOS has been stolen in what they suspect was an inside job.

On Saturday 30th March Bithumb published a statement saying they had spotted an “abnormal withdrawal” at 10pm (Korean time) on Friday night and immediately suspended all withdrawals and deposits. 

They then confirmed all of the stolen currency (an estimated 3.07m EOS according to CoinDesk which given EOS is currently worth $4.22 would make the total loss just below $13m) belonged to them and had been stolen from their ‘hot’ (i.e. online) wallet while all of their clients’ assets were perfectly safe within a ‘cold’ wallet. 

The company’s remaining assets have now been moved to that cold wallet to prevent any additional losses and give them time to find out how the breach happened so they can take preventative action against potential attacks in the future.

As Bithumb can find no sign of forced external entry they feel this has to be the work of an employee.  They have told both their government and local law enforcement that they are already conducting a thorough internal investigation and expect the cooperation of the other international crypto exchanges so that they can at least recover some of the money they’ve lost.

Most worryingly for Bithumb users this news comes less than a year after the exchange suffered a hack in which they lost an estimated $30m of different cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and other coins.  They may have since recovered almost half of that but surely this latest hack will do nothing to underpin their credibility in the market given the regularity and size of these hacks?

Digital currency is undoubtedly here to stay but news like this does nothing to allay our fears about its security, particularly as that security hinges on the strength of the trading exchanges’ systems and – if this story is to be believed – hiring policy.

However, as cryptocurrency is such a new phenomenon recovering any money you lose on the back of a hack or data breach isn’t as straight forward as it would be in other types of theft or fraud as there is not a great deal of legal precedent to fall back on. 

This is where we can help.

Our specialist crypto currency and Bitcoin solicitors are highly experienced in the risks associated with Bitcoin.  Since we launched we have worked alongside the crypto pioneers who paved the way for cryptocurrency which means we have a level of understanding no other law firm can match. 

If you have lost money whilst dealing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency and would like to discuss what you’ll need to do to recover your losses, please call us today on  020 7792 5649 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We will help. 

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MLA 2017 18 Shortlisted 2