Deposits and withdrawals on cryptocurrency exchange UPbit have been halted for at least the next two weeks after the news of South Korea’s largest digital asset exchange losing 340,000 Ether, worth just over $51.3 million broke.
⚠️⚠️⚠️ #Upbit has confirmed they have been hacked and 342,000 ETH has been reported stolen. We will monitor the hack address and inform the community when any transfers are made.https://t.co/2LDhZVl9dy
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) November 27, 2019
The exchange released a statement where it said the funds were sent from UPbit’s Ethereum hot wallet to an unrecognized wallet — 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029. The official announcement reads,
“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet.”
Following this loss, the exchange has transferred all the cryptocurrencies from its Hot wallet to Cold Wallet.
The exchange will cover the loss of 342,000 ETH missing from the suspicious transaction.
Other Exchanges to Freeze the hacked Funds
After UPbit came clean with its explanation, other exchanges like Binance and Huobi came together to announce that they would work with UPbit and any hacked funds that move to their platform will be immediately frozen.
We will work with Upbit and other industry players to ensure any hacked funds that may make their way to Binance are immediately frozen.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 27, 2019
As always Huobi will watch & secure any funds from the security incident at Upbit. We will work with them if any assets enter our exchange. Safety & security is one of our top responsibilities. Always S&S!
— Livio Weng|CEO Huobi🌏 (@livio_huobi) November 27, 2019
Crypto transaction tracker Whale Alert published on Twitter about the 342,000 ETH moved from UPbit to an unknown wallet. It further reported a series of major transfers of Tron (1.1 billion TRX), BitTorrent (12.2 billion BTT) and NPXS from the UPbit wallet to an unknown wallet.
Local reports suggest the individual or group responsible for this loss targeted the exchange during the period when UPbit was moving the crypto funds to its cold wallet.
As such, it has been suspected to be an inside job but there’s no confirmation of that as of yet.
In March, UPbit alleged that a phishing scam executed by hackers from North Korea targeted its users.
This year, UPbit is the second South Korean exchange that lost a large amount of money. Earlier in March, Bithumb, the second biggest crypto exchange lost $13 million which was an inside job.
Crypto Market Unaffected
Despite the news of the hack, the crypto market remained unaffected.
If you sold the UpBit dump
— Murad Mahmudov 🚀 (@MustStopMurad) November 27, 2019
As a matter of fact, earlier in the day Bitcoin price dropped to $6,847 level but after the news broke out, the price jumped to $7,375. Currently, BTC/USD is trading at $7,289, up 2.35%.
$50 million UpBit Eth hack announced, Bitcoin price goes up 5% in an hour. It shows how Bitcoin is the safe-haven as well as reserve asset for the digital asset space.
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) November 27, 2019
Ethereum is also in the green by 2% in the past 24 hours while trading at $149.