Cryptocurrencies fall in value after South Korean hack

People aren't yet so sure who to trust

A hacker in South Korea allegedly stole approximately $40 million off of 'crypto exchange' platform Coinrail, and people panicked.

What it means: Cryptocurrencies (digital currencies whose use is managed by encryption, rather than any kind of bank or government agency) are still a fairly new thing. People were interested in them because they're not controlled by a central bank, so felt like a more grassroots way of doing banking.

But US regulators are already investigating a few 'crypto exchanges' – platforms where currencies are bought and sold – for allegedly fiddling with the prices of their currencies.

A lot of the people investing in them don't necessarily work in finance, or hold other shares, so when they hear about news like that, or hacks like this, they scare easy, thinking it's perhaps not as safe an investment as they thought.

Case and point: when news broke that a South Korean hacker had got into crypto exchange platform Coinrail, people sold off $46bn worth of holdings. Bitcoin dropped in value by 11 per cent. It's already been dropping since January, and has lost 53 per cent of its value this year so far.

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