Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb claims that it has recovered nearly half of the funds stolen in a recent high-profile hack at the South Korean trading platform.
Hackers breached Bithumb’s online hot wallets on June 20, making off with approximately 35 billion KRW (~$31 million) before the exchange operator was able to transfer its remaining hot wallet assets to offline cold wallets.
The Seoul-based company on Thursday announced that it had already recovered more than 45 percent of the stolen funds, reducing the value of the still-missing funds to just under 19 billion KRW (~$17 million) as of June 27.
Bithumb said that the recovery was made possible through coordination with other cryptocurrency exchanges located throughout the world. Presumably, these exchanges seized the funds when the hackers attempted to launder them.
“The main reason for the reduction of the damage is due to the ongoing participation, support and cooperation of cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrencies foundations [sic] across the world,” Bithumb said in the announcement. “Also our quick response to the cyber-attack by removing cryptocurrencies from hot wallet to cold wallet effectively contributed to reducing the overall damage.”
Notably, the exchange revealed in the announcement that the hackers had breached the hot wallets for 11 different currencies. Nearly three-fourths of the outstanding funds are denominated in BTC, while the remainder is spread out across BCH, ELF, ETH, ETHOS, GNT, HSR, KNC, OMG, VEN, and XRP. The nature of the stolen assets had not previously been made public.
Even before recovering these funds, Bithumb vowed that it would fully compensate users out of its reserves, which allegedly hold $450 million.
As of Thursday evening local time, withdrawals remain frozen at the exchange, and Bithumb continues to advise users against making deposits, though it said that many users have not adhered to this request.
Nevertheless, trading remains open at the exchange, though volume has declined considerably since the hack. Even so, Bithumb still ranks as the world’s 10th-largest cryptocurrency exchange with a 24-hour volume of about $131 million. The exchange is currently the second-largest platform in South Korea, trailing fellow Seoul-based exchange UPbit by approximately $13 million in single-day volume.