The cryptocurrency market got a major jolt this weekend, after a small South Korea based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinrail got hacked that led to a loss of more than $40 million in altcoins. The hack relatively small compared to that of a Japanese exchange Coincheck, had a major impact in the cryptocurrency space, prompting an extended sell-off of bitcoin to a 2-month low or total loss of over $14 billion.
According to coinmarketcap.com, the exchange ranks inside the world’s top 90 based on trading volume and handles $2.6 million dollars worth of trading a day. The exchange has approximately 50 coins but mostly deals in small-scale cryptocurrency called Pundi X (NPXS). The notable in the heist is that the hackers got away with $19.5 million worth of NPXS tokens that were issued by payment project Pundi X’s ICO. Other small altcoins were also affected but Pundi had the worst impact. Other altcoins which got affected are $13.8 million from Aston X ( a project to decentralize documents), $5.8 million in tokens for Dent (a mobile data ICO) and over $1.1 million, Tron.
The Coincheck exchange has been temporarily taken off service for maintenance and displays a message apologising for the inconvenience and says that it will be back up tomorrow. In a statement issued by Coinrail, it has moved the remainder of its asset, that is 70 per cent of its total holding to cold storage while it reviews its security system and fully investigates the incident. The exchange did not quantify the loss but said that it is fully cooperating with the police investigation into the hacking.
Pundi X has a daily circulation of $9.4 million and according to its website, it is designed to be used in physical stores for everyday purchases and has its own operating system called Pundi XPOS. According to a Medium article posted by Pundi X team after the hack, 2,619,542,080 NPXS (approximately $19.6 million) were transferred to an exchange called IDEX, and has confirmed with Coinrail that is a result of cyber hacking which is about 3 per cent of all the tokens in circulation.
Post the hack, all major cryptocurrencies have suffered a sharp fall in prices, and Bitcoin is trading around $6700 level (down 11.2 per cent from Friday) and Ethereum is trading at around the $530 zone.