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Cryptocurrencies dropped after the second South Korean exchange in as many weeks said it was the victim of a theft, renewing fears about the security of digital-asset trading venues.
Bithumb, ranked seventh in the world by traded value by Coinmarketcap.com, said about 35 billion won ($32 million) worth of coins were stolen. The exchange halted cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, dropped as much as 2 percent and was trading at $6,572 as of 9:29 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to consolidated prices compiled by Bloomberg. It has lost 54 percent this year. Other tokens including Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin also retreated.
Enthusiasm for virtual currencies has waned this year partly due to a string of cyber heists, including the nearly $500 million theft from Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc. in late January. Last week, a South Korean venue called Coinrail said that some of the exchange’s digital currency appeared to have been stolen by hackers, but it didn’t disclose how much.
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