Coinrail, a somewhat unknown South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, has recently revealed through a statement on its website that there’s been a “cyber intrusion” on its platform, and that it is now reviewing its system. This, as most cryptocurrencies dive into a sea of red.
Details on what exactly happened are somewhat scarce. According to Coinrail, seemingly only a few cryptocurrencies were affected, including the most popular one on its platform, Pundi X (NPXS), which claims its mission is to “make buying cryptocurrency as easy as buying bottled water. As the Walmart and 7-Eleven of cryptocurrency, we want users to buy and use cryptocurrency anytime anywhere.”
해킹공격시도로 인한 시스템 점검중입니다. 일부코인(펀디엑스,NPXS)이 확인되었으며 추가적인 코인피해가 있는지 여부를 확인중입니다. 추후 자세한 사항은 재공지하겠습니다 / There has been an cyber intrusion in our system. We're confirming it and some coins(Pundi X, NPXS) are confirmed.
— coinrail (@Coinrail_Korea) June 10, 2018
According to the exchange, other affected cryptocurrencies include NPER and Aston (ATX). Coinrail reportedly managed to contact decentralized crypto exchanges like IDEX to freeze trading pairs, presumably so hackers aren’t able to cash out.
According to Bloomberg, Coinrail has secured its remaining reserves, said to be 70 percent, in cold storage. What exactly happened to the exchange is currently unclear. Its website reads (roughly translated):
“Two-thirds of the coins confirmed to have been leaked are covered by freezing / recalling through consultation with each coach and related exchanges. The remaining one-third of coins are being investigated with investigators, relevant exchanges and coin developers”
Various market analysts claim today’s crypto market tumble, that saw most cryptocurrencies drop between 5 and 10 percent in a few hours, was caused by the South Korean exchange’s security breach. Notably, Coinrail trades over 50 cryptocurrencies, but is a relatively small exchange as in the last 24-hour period it registered a $2.6 million trading volume.
As some pointed out, the drop was likely a delayed reaction to a WSJ report that revealed the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sent subpoenas to four major cryptocurrency exchanges in a market manipulation probe.
As CryptoGlobe reported, these four exchanges are Kaken, Coinbase, ItBit, and Bitstamp. The market manipulation probe was launched because of a dispute between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and these exchanges.
Curiously if prices are indeed being manipulated, whoever is doing it is seemingly taking bitcoin down, as the flagship cryptocurrency fell from an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in mid-December, at the time bitcoin futures contracts were launched, to $7,245 at press time.
Coinrail wasn’t immediately available for a request for comment.