South Korean cryptocurrency exchange UPbit has been hacked, with around $50 million worth of ETH going missing.
Rumours started to appear on Twitter early this morning that the exchange had been hacked.
South Korean news site Naver posted a screenshot from the UPbit website announcing that trading had been stopped after a large withdrawal of 58 billion won stirred suspicion.
However, nothing could be found on the company’s page at the time.
Rumours around the UPbit hack
Another factor that caused some to refrain from immediately denouncing the UPbit hack is the growing concern over fake news in the crypto space recently.
One of the first sources to break the news was Primitive Crypto founder Dovey Wan.
Her controversial tweet last week which suggested that the Chinese president had clamped down even harder on cryptocurrencies turned out to be just a “meme”.
Since then, she has lost some credibility in the space, leading to many followers suggesting that large withdrawals were perfectly normal and that she was spreading fake news and FUD:
— PLEH (@Plehs1) November 27, 2019
However, Whale Alert, a Twitter service that monitors blockchain transactions, also noticed that:
“342,000 #ETH (49,848,273 USD) transferred from #Upbit to unknown wallet.”
UPbit officially confirms the hack
UPbit has now officially confirmed the hack. The exchange says that it has lost close to $50 million worth of Ether (around 342,000 ETH).
It says that the amount was transferred from its Ethereum “hot” wallet to an unknown wallet.
Whale Alert then noticed other large withdrawals including Tron (TRX). However, for now at least, UPbit maintains that only its Ether was affected.
UPbit is now taking all the necessary precautions. In response, the exchange has transferred all cryptocurrencies into a “cold” wallet.
Exchange users concerned over their assets need not worry – UPbit will cover the losses. However, it will take “at least two weeks” for withdrawals and deposits to return to normal.
Another smear on the cryptocurrency space
This latest news comes on top of a slew of cryptocurrency exchange hacks, with more than $4bn stolen this year alone.