South Korean crypto exchange UPbit gets hacked; loses nearly $50M worth of ether

Quick Take

  • South Korean crypto exchange UPbit has been hacked, losing nearly $50 million worth of ether (ETH) cryptocurrency
  • The exchange said it will cover the losses via its assets 
  • It will take “at least two weeks” for deposit and withdrawal services to resume 

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange UPbit has been hacked, losing nearly $50 million worth of ether (ETH) cryptocurrency.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, UPbit said 342,000 ETH (currently worth nearly $50 million) were transferred from its ethereum “hot” wallet to an unknown wallet, adding: “Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029”

As a result, UPbit has now transferred “all” cryptocurrencies from its hot wallet to a “cold” wallet and said it will cover the losses via its assets.

Before releasing the hack details, UPbit suspended cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals due to service checks. In the updated announcement, the exchange said it will take “at least two weeks” for deposit and withdrawal services to resume.

Earlier today, Whale Alert, a Twitter service that monitors blockchain transactions, did mention: "342,000 #ETH (49,848,273 USD) transferred from #Upbit to unknown wallet." The massive withdrawal alerts did raise suspicions, with several people on social media calling it a hack.

Whale Alert, in fact, noted several withdrawals taking place via UPbit, involving other cryptocurrencies and tokens as well - Tron (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), among others. But the exchange said only ether holdings were affected.

UPbit's hack marks this year’s eighth breach, and the total amount stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges to date now stands at around $1.44 billion, according to The Block’s research.

Earlier this month, Vietnam-based little-known crypto exchange VinDAX got hacked and lost at least $500,000 worth of cryptocurrencies. In July, Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint got breached and lost about $32 million in cryptocurrencies, including XRP. A month prior to that, Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitrue suffered a hack, losing about $4.3 million in XRP and Cardano (ADA) tokens. Other exchanges include BinanceBithumbDragonEX and Cryptopia

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Oct 20, 2021, 2:23PM UTC