Bithumb woes blamed for cryptocurrency bear market
The recent hacking attack on Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is among the reasons being cited for another steep fall on the cryptocurrency market, which earlier this week showed signs of improved stability.
The market suffered an overall loss of over $17 billion in just 24 hours, triggered by the losses of major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS.
EOS recorded the biggest retreat among major digital assets, falling by more than 10% overnight, while Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Stellar and Cardano were all down by at least 7%.
Alarm at RBI edict
Sentiment was also affected by an announcement by India’s largest exchange Zebpay that the country’s banks will comply with a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directive issued on April 5 and stop dealing with virtual currencies while terminating the accounts of the crypto-related companies.
India’s banks are currently required to comply with the RBI order by July 5. The prospect of the exchanges being cut off from banking services sparked a flash crash on Indian cryptocurrency trading platforms, which in turn triggered a major sell-off.
Meanwhile, Bithumb said that while it has reported losses of 35 billion South Korean wong (KRW) – equivalent to $31.5 million – to the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) as a result of this week’s hacking attack, it may ultimately be able to lower that figure. It added that it was working with cryptocurrency exchanges and others to prevent further losses and retrieve the funds.
Separately, the independent American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) issued a report that finds Bitcoin’s price has been less volatile than that of other virtual currencies. The volatility data has been taken since the year 2013 and the report comments on the maturity of Bitcoin, which had edged higher from $6,300 to $6,700 before news broke of the Bithum attack