Bitcoin exchange goes bust after hack

Cash-strapped North Korea turning more to cryptocurrency

Thankfully these attacks were repelled agents at the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA).

Youbit, a South Korean bitcoin exchange, on Tuesday said it has stopped trading the virtual money and will file for bankruptcy after losing 17% of its total assets to hackers.This is not the first time the exchange has been targeted.

Fears about the safety of bitcoin investments were heightened yesterday after a digital currency exchange in South Korea collapsed, saying that hackers had stolen a significant proportion of its assets. The company didn't say how much was taken in the latest heist or how exactly it happened.

Local police are only now starting their investigation into the new hack, but the previous one was attributed to North Korea, according to Reuters.

Youbit said that its customers would get back about three-quarters of the value of the digital currencies they had stored in accounts with the exchange.

In July, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, Bithumb, was hacked, which resulted in monetary losses worth some 7.6 billion won ($7 million). Its price has soared this year amid interest from millions of private...

Tim Wellsmore, director of threat intelligence at cybersecurity firm FireEye, said bitcoin exchanges had been slow to respond to the threats posed by hackers. On December 6, the central bank saidThe RBI had previously said those trading in virtual currencies were doing so at their own risk, given that the central bank has not given a licence or authorisation for any company to deal in such wanted to reinforce its previous message to "users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs".

From early Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon, the bitcoin price plunged more than 10%, partly due to fears brought on by the Youbit bankruptcy.

North Korea has previously denied any role in worldwide cyberattacks.

Unlike traditional currencies like the US dollar, digital currencies don't fall under central bank control and are largely unregulated.

Only a day earlier, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith warned CNBC viewers that the time was ripe for another major hack in the Bitcoin space.

It said it was "very sorry" that it had been forced to shut down. The majority of Bitcoin trading in the country is done on the Bithumb exchange which has a 70% market share.

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