South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Hacked, $30 Million Stolen in Tokens

Bithumb is one of the bitcoin community’s largest and highest-volume exchanges. Find out everything you need to know about the popular Korean exchange today in our Bithumb review.

What Is Bithumb?

Bithumb is Korea’s number one cryptocurrency exchange. It’s also routinely ranked among the top 10 worldwide cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of trading volume. The exchange promises to offer the lowest commission rates in the world.

The Korea Herald reports that Bithumb accounts for a 75.7% share of South Korean bitcoin market volume, and accounts for about 10% of the global bitcoin trade. At last count, the exchange was also responsible for about 50% of South Korea’s Ether trading.

In June 2017, Bithumb suffered a large hack that led to the disappearance of billions of won. Approximately 30,000 users were hacked and watched assets drain from their accounts. The incident affected 3% of Bithumb’s users. Bithumb traced the hack back to an instruction on a company employee’s home PC.

Popular Bithumb Trading Pairs

Bithumb, understandably, is known for its Korean Won (KRW) trading pairs. Here are the trading pairs in descending order of volume at the time of writing (July 2017):


No other trading pairs are available on Bithumb at this time.

It’s also worth mentioning that Bithumb allows users to buy bitcoin gift vouchers. Vouchers are denominated in the equivalent value based on the current Korean won value. The minimum value for each card can be 10,000 KOW, or about $9 USD. Bithumb will also purchase existing gift vouchers from customers and convert them into the corresponding value in bitcoin.

The June 2017 Hack

On June 29, a hacker gained access to a Bithumb employee’s home PC. The hacker used that access to grab the personal information of 31,800 Bithumb users, including their names, mobile phone numbers, and email addresses. The hack affected approximately 3% of all Bithumb customers.

One member estimated that he had lost 1.2 billion Won.

The company maintained that the hacker did not gain direct access to the Bithumb exchange. Instead, the hacker gained access to the personal information of some users – specifically, their account information and their disposable password used to verify financial transactions. After gaining access to these disposable passwords, Bithumb was able to drain the accounts of victims.

There’s some debate over how the attack took place. Some Bithumb customers report that the attacker used a “Vishing” (voice phishing) operation to contact customers over the phone and request the victim’s One Time Password (OTP).

Bithumb announced plans to compensate victims up to 100,000 Won per person immediately (around $900 USD). Further damages will be compensated as soon as the amount is confirmed.

Who’s Behind Bithumb?

Bithumb is operated by a company called BTC Co. Ltd. That company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

For such a large exchange, there’s surprising little information about Bithumb’s team available online. The Bloomberg profile for the company mentions no executives, board members, or other data about the company. All we really know is that it’s a Seoul-based company named BTC Co. Ltd.

Bithumb Conclusion

Bithumb is Korea’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange – and it’s not even close. The exchange accounts for 70 to 80% of all bitcoin trading in Korea, and about 50% of all Ether trading in South Korea. In addition to bitcoin trading, the Bithumb exchange allows traders to exchange the Korean Won for Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, and other popular currencies.

Bithumb is available to residents of Korea. The website is entirely in Korean. Translate options are available, although they’re provided by Google Translate – the exchange does not officially offer service in English (understandably).

You can visit Bithumb online today by visiting

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  1. thank for your post but regarding my case, I made a first deposit in ripples in their plateform 1 month ago (transaction success verified by xrp charts etc) , and I have still nothing on my account on bithumb, tring desperately reach them through inquiries, phone calls and they do nothing, so I am not so optimist like you and it’s a practical case ;) I will give a mark of 3/10 and I am not alone in this case


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