Somebody apparently took UPbit for US$50 million worth of ether.

From CoinDesk:

Upbit’s CEO said in a blog post at 9:00 UTC on Wednesday that an abnormal transaction from its wallets had resulted in the outflow of 342,000 ether (ETH) earlier today.

The exchange said the loss will be covered by its own assets. Meanwhile, withdrawals and deposits have already been suspended as a precaution. The firm estimated that it will take “at least two weeks” for services to be back to normal.”

The missing ether was reportedly sent from Upbit’s wallet to an unknown Ethereum address. 

The exchange has moved all cryptocurrencies held in “hot wallets” to more secure “cold wallets”:

Hot wallets are software-based storage solutions for cryptocurrency, typically applications on phones or computers. Cold wallets are hardware-based — typically standalone devices kept offline while not in use to ensure they’re out of reach of Internet baddies.

UPbit didn’t use the term “hacking,” but the presumption is that the exchange got hacked when a hot wallet private key got exposed.

Police, KISA and cybersecurity companies are investigating the incident.

The hack of UPbit — if it was a hack — has sparked growing concern regarding the security of cryptocurrency exchanges, reports Korean-language blockchain news website The BChain. 

UPbit took pride in being relatively secure — it had hired security specialists, adopted security solutions and acquired ISMS certification. On Coinmarketcap’s top 100 exchanges, UPbit’s cybersecurity score was 14th highest in the world and No. 1 in Korea. In fact, security was a reason why so many South Koreans used it.

If even UPbit could get hacked, no cryptocurrency exchange is safe. Or so people are worrying.

The hack could also influence ongoing efforts to pass revisions to the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTRA). Somebody from the office of  Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Kim Byung-wook, the sponsor of the proposed revisions, said negotiations could turn to how to strengthen security-related provisions, the bolstering of which would make the final passing of the revisions possible.

Also in the Korea blockchain space…

(By Brady Dale, Coindesk, Nov. 29)

Federal prosecutors have arrested a blockchain developer who spoke at a cryptocurrency conference in North Korea in April. The FBI accuses the developer of discussing at the conference “how blockchain and cryptocurrency technology could be used by the DPRK to launder money and evade sanctions, and how the DPRK could use these technologies to achieve independence from the global banking system.”

(By Valentin Voloshchak, The Diplomat, Nov. 30)

Far Eastern Federal University’s Valentin Voloshchak examines the complexities of South Korea’s de facto ICO ban. In particular, he notes that though the main opposition party criticizes the ban, national security concerns might make it difficult for the party to lift it even if it were to take power.

(By Kim Eun-jin, BusinessKorea, Dec. 2)

Blockchain-based karaoke DApp SOMESING will be listed on the major exchange DCoin from Dec. 5. The DApp has been doing quite well since its launch on Nov. 19. We interviewed the SOMESING team in March.

(By Joseph Young, Decrypt, Nov. 30)

Ground X, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary, will launch its wallet “Clip” in the first half of next year. Joseph Young writes, By 2020, the three dominant conglomerates in their respective industries — Samsung, Shinhan, and Kakao — will likely operate native crypto wallets alongside each other, creating a more practical environment for cryptocurrency adoption.”

(By Yogita Khatri, The Block, Nov. 27)

Somebody apparently took UPbit for US$50 million worth of ether. The exchange said it would cover the losses with its assets. It has also suspended deposits and withdrawals for at least two weeks.